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NRCC Hacked in 2018 By ‘Unknown Entity’

FBI investigating but no further comment

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked in 2018 by an “unknown entity,” a committee spokesman acknowledged Tuesday.

“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity,” spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. “The cybersecurity of the committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter.”

Prior, who works for Mercury Public Affairs, said the NRCC will not be commenting further on the incident. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The breach was first reported by Politico on Tuesday, citing committee officials who said hackers had access to email accounts of four “senior aides” and surveilled the accounts for several months.

The committee’s Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was implicated in a hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, perpetrated by Russian hackers. The DCCC hack led to internal emails and opposition research leaking to the public. According to Politico, none of the NRCC emails accessed this year have been made public.

The 2016 hack caused political committees and operatives on both sides to re-evaluate information security practices. NRCC spokesman Jesse Hunt told Roll Call last year that cybersecurity “an absolute priority” and the committee had hired a full-time cybersecurity team.

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