The timing and stakes of the DNC email hacking thrust it directly into the spotlight. It is not the first hacking of its kind, though.
In June of this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) experienced a cyber attack that the FBI is now investigating, Reuters reports.
Sources close to the matter told Reuters that the breach at the DCCC, which raises money for Democrats running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, may not have been about stealing money, but rather could have been intended to gather information about donors.
It is unclear exactly when the hacking began, but it could have been as recently as June of this year. At that time, a false website was created with a name similar to that of the DCCC’s main donation site. After the site was created, traffic from donors began moving to the fake site.
The DNC hacking is likely tied to Russian hackers, and it’s possible that the DCCC hacking is as well.
According to The New York Times, “American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have ‘high confidence’ that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.”
Russian hackers are also suspected in the DCCC hacking, which originally went unreported, because the fake site’s IP address was similar to one used by the same Russian government-linked hackers who are suspected in the DNC breach.
If it turns out to be true that Russia was involved in either or both hackings, Reuters argues, more weight will be given to “accusations, so far unproven, that Moscow is attempting to meddle in the U.S. election campaign to help Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.”
So far, the DCCC has not provided a direct comment on the situation.
Russian officials, however, have commented on the accusations that their government is attempting to influence the U.S. elections. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, “It is so absurd it borders on total stupidity.”
When the FBI was questioned about the DCCC hacking, they referred to a statement made regarding the DNC hack:
‘The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter. A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.’
Based on previous occurrences, apparently the U.S. intelligence community has been expecting situations like the hacking of the DNC and DCCC. James Clapper said that he knew about attempted hacks and expected to see more as November draws closer.
Jim Manley, a former top spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, also spoke to the likelihood of continued hacking moving forward with the election. In an email to POLITICO, Manley wrote:
‘Everybody at the different campaign committees better get used to to idea that their computer systems have been hacked by bad actors and plan accordingly, because we may be headed in to unchartered territory here.’
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