The computer network used by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, people familiar with the matter told reporters. The latest attack, which was disclosed to media on Friday, follows reports of two other hacks on the Democratic National Committee and the party’s fundraising committee for candidates for the US House of Representatives.
Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the “accuracy, nature and scope” of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign’s “internal systems have been compromised,” Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks.
Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed.
The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention.
The US Department of Justice national security division is investigating whether cyber hacking attacks on Democratic political organizations threatened US security, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. The involvement of the Justice Department’s national security division is a sign that the Obama administration has concluded that the hacking was state sponsored, individuals with knowledge of the investigation said.
Access to the full DCCC network would have given the hackers access to everything from emails to strategy memos and opposition research prepared to support Democratic candidates in campaigns for the House. The hack of the DCCC, which is based in Washington, ahead of Clinton’s speech in Philadelphia accepting the Democratic party’s nomination. Russian officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The DCCC said in a statement early on Friday that it has hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike to investigate. “We have taken and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network,” the DCCC said. “We are cooperating with federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation.”
With inputs from AP and Reuters.