A major hack during the 2018 elections targeted the email accounts of top officials in the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
Senior GOP officials told Politico that hackers monitored email accounts owned by four senior aides of the NRCC for several months. The security breach exposed thousands of emails to hackers.
Politico revealed that the security breach was detected in April and the NRCC was promptly alerted. The NRCC quickly established an internal investigation and notified the FBI of the incident, however, senior members of the Republican Party were kept in the dark.
Senior Republicans including Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise did not know about the incident until Politico reached out to the NRCC this week with questions over the hack.
NRCC officials reportedly told Politico that the security breach was not fully disclosed to House Republicans because an internal investigation was underway and there were concerns that disclosing the information could compromise the investigation and efforts to find the party or parties responsible.
There is evidence to show that the hack was a major concern within the NRCC in the build-up to the midterm elections. Politico reported that the NRCC’s chief legal counsel Chris Winkelman spent a lot of time on the matter and brought on two Washington law firms to assist in coordinating the NRCC’s response.
Although it is unclear who was behind the hack, several officials privately believe it may have been the work of foreign hackers.
The incident exposes the folly behind Trump’s assertions that the Republican party is better at cybersecurity than the Democrats, a claim he often touts as an explanation for why the Democrats were hacked in 2016 while the Republicans were not.
What's Your Reaction?
Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.