Citing sources with knowledge of the hacking operation, Reuters noted that the targeting was unsuccessful.
The report comes hours after American tech company Microsoft claimed that it had detected significant cyber activity from a group known as Phosphorus, which reportedly hails from Iran, and that at least one US presidential campaign and accounts linked to current and former US government officials were targeted by said group.
"We’re sharing this for two reasons. First, it is important that we all – governments and private sector – are increasingly transparent about nation-state attacks and efforts to disrupt democratic processes," reads Microsoft's release on the matter.
"Second, while we have processes to notify customers about nation state activity and have AccountGuard to monitor accounts of campaigns and other associated organizations related to election processes in democracies around the world, publishing this information should help others be more vigilant and take steps to protect themselves."
"The targeted accounts are associated with a US presidential campaign, current and former US government officials, journalists covering global politics and prominent Iranians living outside Iran," the statement continues.
According to Microsoft, within a 30-day period its intelligence center detected 2,700 attempts "to identify consumer email accounts belonging to specific Microsoft customers and then attack 241 of those accounts." The efforts ultimately led to only four accounts being compromised; however, none of these accounts were linked to a US presidential campaign or current or former US government officials.
"This effort suggests Phosphorus is highly motivated and willing to invest significant time and resources engaging in research and other means of information gathering," Microsoft later noted.
An earlier statement from Microsoft in July indicated that roughly 10,000 of its clients had become targets of state-sponsored cyberattacks over the past year.