A new report questions whether the Secret Service should begin guarding presidential candidates' email accounts in the wake of a hacking attack on the Democratic National Committee.
Major presidential candidates typically receive Secret Service protection sometime during the primary season, if not sooner. But that protection is merely physical, as their electronic communications are not guarded.
"When you are running for president up and through [Republican National Committee] and DNC conventions, there are a lot of physical protections put in place for the potential president, however, on the cyber side we have not caught up in that world yet," Tony Cole of cyber forensics firm FireEye told Nextgov this week
U.S. and DNC officials suspect Russia
was behind the theft of emails and other data, part of which was released a week ago — just a few days before the party's national convention. There have been claims that Russia is trying to influence the presidential election by stealing the information, which showed the party was favoring Hillary Clinton
over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders behind the scenes.
With cybersecurity a growing problem across all industries, Cole said there's a need for candidates to be protected on the digital front.
"Being able to steal their email is a critical concern, and obviously, the DNC hack that took place, if valid, that is a major concern," Cole said.
Republican nominee Donald Trump challenged Russia
this week — jokingly, he later said
— to hand over any emails it has from Clinton to the FBI.
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