Friday, 22 February, 2019

Republicans acknowledge House campaign arm was hacked during 2018

UNITED STATES- JUNE 7 Rep. Steve Stivers R-Ohio leaves the House Republicans' caucus meeting in the Capitol on immigration reforms on Thursday morning Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call Group
Melinda Barton | 05 December, 2018, 15:47

"The email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were surveilled for several months, the party officials said". NRCC spokesman Ian Prior later confirmed the report to Newsweek, saying an internal investigation took place and that the FBI was conducting an ongoing inquiry.

Prior, who works for Mercury Public Affairs, said the NRCC will not be commenting further on the incident.

One senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official said he did not know if the report was accurate and that the agency had not been informed by the NRCC or Federal Bureau of Investigation of such an attack. Still, senior House Republicans including Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and other House Republicans were not made aware of the breach until Politico contacted them Monday.

The House Republicans' campaign arm said it was the victim of a hack that's now the subject of an FBI investigation.

Politically motivated cyberespionage is commonplace across the world, but Americans have become particularly alert to the possibility of digital interference since Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Politico reported that GOP officials believe the attack was from a foreign agent.

The intrusion was detected by a vendor in April.

The National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked this election cycle, it admitted Tuesday afternoon.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said in a tweet that the NRCC hack demonstrates that such attacks are "not a Republican or Democratic problem". The emails were obtained after Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta fell for a phishing scam and were posted by Wikileaks.

Election systems are constantly under fire from efforts to steal sensitive data, disrupt services and undermine voter confidence. None of the emails accessed have been released to the public, nor were NRCC officials threatened by the perpetrators with such an action.