The National Republican Congressional Committee says it was the victim of a 'cyber intrusion' in the 2018 midterm elections
- 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.
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.