Hackers breached thousands of emails belonging to Republican party members. This is major hack was reported by The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) this week. Four senior aides in the party were targeted in the attack. Thousands of sensitive emails of the aides were compromised and exposed.
The email accounts were being monitored by hackers for numerous months until being discovered by an NRCC vendor. Investigations immediately began, and the breach was reported to the FBI, who is now investigating into the matter. The law firm, Covington & Burling, and Mercury Public Affairs were also hired by the NRCC to respond to the hack.
Senior officials of the Republican party- Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Scalise-were unaware of the breach until recently.
Senior party officials have commented:
We don’t want to get into details about what was taken because it’s an ongoing investigation—“Let’s say they had access to four active accounts. I think you can draw from that.”
Although, the party has not offered too many details, it is known that donor information was not stolen. It is also confirmed that that an ‘unknown entity’ was behind the hack. Further, party officials have said that none of the stolen emails have been leaked to the public as of yet.
This is the second hack to occur to a major political party in the last five years. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was hacked ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. Federal organizations should be prepared and ready to mitigate major attacks, especially in today’s political climate. A technical evangelist at Varonis, Brain Vecci, noted that the emails were most likely targeted to gain intelligence. He further stated:
“The countries that have proven themselves to be able to perpetuate these kinds of attacks and have the motive to do so are Russia, China, and North Korea,—–That doesn’t rule anyone else out, it just means they’re the most likely. These are the countries with the means, motive, and opportunity to get the most out of inside information related to US political thinking.”
It is crucial that the state of cybersecurity be addressed within the government, especially as the threat of cyber warfare increases.
If you believe, your organization has been breached contact LIFARS immediately.