Tuesday, December 4, 2018

NRCC hacked

The House GOP campaign arm suffered a major hack during the 2018 election, exposing thousands of sensitive emails to an outside intruder, according to three senior party officials.

The email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were surveilled for several months, the party officials said. The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. An internal investigation was initiated and the FBI was alerted to the attack, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the incident.

However, senior House Republicans — including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) — were not informed of the hack until POLITICO contacted the NRCC on Monday with questions about the episode. Rank-and-file House Republicans were not told, either.

Committee officials said they decided to withhold the information because they were intent on conducting their own investigation, and feared that revealing the hack would compromise efforts to find the culprit.
They couldn't trust the victims to keep mum?
Donor information was not compromised during the intrusion, the party officials said.
Yet the fact that the NRCC was hacked and withheld that information is likely to prove embarrassing at a time when Republicans are grappling with an election in which they lost 40 seats and control of the House. President Donald Trump has also claimed that Republicans are better than Democrats at cybersecurity, explaining why one party was hacked in 2016 but the other was not.

“The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses, and they were able to be hacked,” Trump told CBS News in July. “I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans, too. But, and this may be wrong, but they had much stronger defenses.”
Not so much, eh? Maybe they weren't hacked because the Russians were after dirt on Hillary. But, hey, I don't see a problem. They can start blaming their losses on being hacked somehow.
Like other major committees, the NRCC also had security procedures in place before the election cycle began to try to limit the amount of information that could be exposed to a potential hacker. It also employed a full-time cybersecurity employee.


Party officials would not say when the hack began or who was behind it, although they privately believe it was a foreign agent due to the nature of the attack.
Russia again? As a reminder to Trump of who's boss?
In news that will surprise nobody, Defense Secretary James Mattis revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday, Mattis claimed that Russia had again tried to “muck around” in America’s democratic process.

“There is no doubt the relationship has worsened,” Mattis said. “[Putin] tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines.”


Mattis also called Putin a “slow learner” and “someone we simply cannot trust” in an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier. (Putin is arguably a regular-speed learner, having been given little more than a slap on the wrist after interfering in 2016.)

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.


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