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NRCC reports being the victim of a ‘cyber intrusion’ in 2018 midterms

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Steve Stivers
U.S.
Steve Rep. Stivers, the Ohio Republican who heads the Republican
National Congressional Committee, calls voters from the party’s
Irvine, Calif., headquarters

AP
Photo/Michael R. Blood


  • The National Republican Congressional Committee says it
    was hit with a “cyber intrusion” during the 2018 midterm
    campaign, Politico first reported Tuesday.
  • A Committee spokesman confirmed the NRCC was the victim
    of a cyberattack and had both launched an internal probe into
    the hack as well as notifying the FBI.
  • Officials added that while sensitive emails and internal
    information was compromised, the hackers did not access donor
    information.

 The National Republican Congressional
Committee says it was hit with a “cyber intrusion” during the
2018 midterm campaign and the breach has been reported to the
FBI, Politico first reported Tuesday.

“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber
intrusion by an unknown entity,” Committee spokesman Ian Prior
said Tuesday.

“The cybersecurity of the Committee’s data is paramount,
and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched
an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now
investigating the matter,” he added.

CNN reported that emails and communications of 4 high-level NRCC
officials had been “surveilled for months.” While the hack was
reportedly discovered by a private cybersecurity firm in April,
the most senior House Republican officials including Speaker Paul
Ryan and majority leader Kevin McCarthy were not aware until
Politico inquired 

Some NRCC staffers told Politico they believed the culprit of the
hack was a foreign agent. Officials added that while sensitive
emails and internal information was compromised, the hackers did
not access donor information.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Read more:

Facebook announced it got hacked
and 50 million accounts were compromised. Here’s how to tell if
you were affected.

In March, NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said the committee has
hired multiple cybersecurity staffers to work with its candidates
and promised to do more. Rep. Tom Emmers of Minnesota has been
elected to chair the NRCC for the upcoming election cycle. 

Cybersecurity has become a pressing issue for political campaigns
and organizations in recent years. In July, the special counsel
Robert Mueller’s office indicted 12 Russian security officers for
spring and summer 2016 hacks of the Democratic National
Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 

While the NRCC and DCCC have spent much of the past two years
negotiating an agreement not to cite material obtained via
malicious hacking in campaign ads in the 2018 midterms, those talks fell apart months
before the November elections
, CNN reported. 

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