Society

Democrats Hacked Again

| by Robert Fowler
A dramatic representation of a stereotypical hackerA dramatic representation of a stereotypical hacker

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an organization dedicated to raising money for Democrats running for the House of Representatives, has confirmed its computer system was hacked by an unspecified cyber intruder.

On July 29, DCCC press secretary Meredith Kelly released an official statement disclosing that the hack had occurred and was being addressed.

“Upon discovering the issue, we immediately took action and engaged with CrowdStrike, a leading forensic investigator, to assist us in addressing this incident," Kelly said, according to Roll Call. "The investigation is ongoing."

CrowdStrike also helped the Democratic National Committee detect and root out hackers in its computer system. In that incident, the cyber security firm determined that the cyber intruders in the DNC system had belonged to Russian intelligence service known as GRU.

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While CrowdStrike has offered no official comment on the DCCC hack, anonymous sources familiar with the incident told The Washington Post that the cyber intruders appeared to originate from the same Russian intelligence that hacked the DNC.

One anonymous cyber-security expert familiar with CrowdStrike added that the hacking indicated a pattern with unsettling implications of foreign espionage.

“It’s definitely part of a much, much broader campaign that is yet to fully be publicly revealed,” the source said.

It has not been determined what information from the DCCC computers was breached, but the hacking has raised concerns that the private information of donors was compromised.

The DCCC added that one component of the hack was a phony website created with a similar name to ActBlue, the website that processes the organization’s donations, according to Reuters.

The tactic resulted in internet traffic created by donations to the DCCC being sent to the pretender website. Security officials believe the intention was to get the private information of donors instead of financial theft.

Chief security officer Justin Harvey of Fidelis Cybersecurity noted that the DCCC hacker used a malware that is more available to government agencies than civilian hackers, adding “It’s really rare malware.”

The FBI announced that it will investigate the DCCC hack as a part of their ongoing investigation in the cyber intrusion that compromised the DNC network.

“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,” the FBI said in an official statement.

The Russian Kremlin has denied any involvement with the DCCC hack or any other act of cyber espionage.

“We don’t see the point any more in repeating yet again that this is silliness,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, adding “It is so absurd it borders on total stupidity.”

Sources: Reuters, Roll Call, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Katy Levinson/Flickr

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