The emails of top officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee were hacked during the 2018 midterm elections, according to multiple reports that emerged Tuesday.
Committee representatives said thousands of emails in the accounts of four senior aides were hacked and monitored for months in a major breach by an outside entity, Politico first reported. An NRCC vendor alerted the committee to the hack in April, after which the NRCC launched an internal investigation and notified a cyber-security firm and the FBI. Republican party officials are said to believe the “unknown entity” responsible for the breach is foreign, although the NRCC has not commented publicly on the matter.
The hack comes two years after Russian operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta during the 2016 presidential campaign. But unlike Podesta’s emails, which were published by WikiLeaks, none of the NRCC officials’ compromised emails have been made public so far.
The hacker was reportedly able to gain access by obtaining the passwords of the officials’ email accounts.
“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior. “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.”
“To protect the integrity of that investigation, the NRCC will offer no further comment on the incident.”