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Wisconsin Republican Party claims hackers stole $2.3 million intended for Trump re-election efforts

The hackers allegedly gained access to the party’s system through a phishing scam and put different routing numbers into the group’s invoices so money that was meant to be sent to vendors was instead rerouted to them.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | October 30, 2020 12:40:39 pm
US Elections 2020 Live updates: Trump heads to Arizona; Melania slams Biden, Democrats in first solo stopPresident Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Eppley Airfield, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Republican Party in Wisconsin has alleged that hackers stole $2.3 million (around Rs 17 crore) from the group’s bank account, which was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state.

The Republican National Committee reported the hack to the FBI on Friday, and law enforcement authorities are currently investigating the theft, representatives of the state party told The Associated Press.

“Cybercriminals, using a sophisticated phishing attack, stole funds intended for the re-election of President Trump, altered invoices and committed wire fraud,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said in a statement.

According to Hitt, the hackers gained access to the party’s system through a phishing scam, and put different routing numbers into the group’s invoices so money that was meant to be sent to vendors was instead rerouted to the hackers.

State officials were warned about such cyberattacks at the Republican Party’s national convention in August, Hitt recalled. A party spokesperson has said that no data was stolen, BBC reported.

“We have been in contact with the state party and are assisting them through this process,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens told AP. “The RNC never left Wisconsin after 2016, and we are confident that our ground game and the millions we are spending on TV and digital will deliver us another win there in 2020.”

There have been over 800 attempted phishing attacks targeting the Wisconsin Democratic Party during the current election cycle, according to a party spokesperson in the state. With the US’ polling day inching closer, more than 1.6 million ballots have already been cast in the state of Wisconsin.

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