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National Republican Congressional Committee emails hacked during 2018 campaign

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Not good.
Not good.

Image: Ambar Del Moral / mashable

It turns out that hackers are an equal opportunity bunch. 

During the lead up to the 2016 U.S. election, much ado was made of the hack of the Democratic National Committee and subsequent publishing of stolen emails. 

Now, thanks to a report by Politico, we know that in 2018 the National Republican Congressional Committee suffered a security breach of its own. 

Specifically, email accounts belonging to four senior aides working for the House Republican campaign organization were said to have been “surveilled” for months. Yup, you read that right: The Republicans’ emails were hacked, too. 

It’s unclear at this time who or what organization directed the latest digital excursion. The 2016 hack of the DNC has since been blamed on the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU. No such accusation has been made in the latest hack, at least publicly. 

We also don’t know what information, exactly, was accessed. 

“We don’t want to get into details about what was taken because it’s an ongoing investigation,” a senior party official told Politico. “Let’s say they had access to four active accounts. I think you can draw from that.”

Notably, many senior Republican officials were reportedly not made aware of the hack at the time of its discovery. According to the Washington Post, the breach was discovered in April of this year. 

“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,” NRCC spokesperson Ian Prior told the Post. “To protect the integrity of that investigation, the NRCC will offer no further comment on the incident.”

Interestingly, the media recently asked Donald Trump about the 2016 DNC hack. His response, essentially, was that it was the DNC’s fault. 

“I heard that they were trying, or people were trying, to hack into the RNC, too — the Republican National Committee — but we had much better defenses,” Trump said on Face The Nation in July. “I’ve been told that by a number of people. We had much better defenses, so they couldn’t. I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked.” 

Assuming the Washington Post’s reporting is correct, the fact that RNCC’s hack was detected months before Trump gave the above interview only helps to paint an uglier picture of the head of the Republican party. 

But that reality is just as shocking as the fact that our political parties continue to be the target of malicious actors – that is to say, not very shocking at all. 

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