According to The New York Times, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign computer systems were hacked by Russia’s intelligence services. The breach came after the disclosure last month that the Democratic National Committee’s computer system had been compromised, escalates an international episode in which Clinton campaign officials have suggested that Russia might be trying to sway the outcome of the election. According to the Times,
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said in a statement that intruders had gained access to an analytics program used by the campaign and maintained by the national committee, but it said that it did not believe that the campaign’s own internal computer systems had been compromised.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fund-raising arm for House Democrats, also said on Friday that its systems had been hacked. Together, the databases of the national committee and the House organization contain some of the party’s most sensitive communications and voter and financial data.
Meredith Kelly, a spokeswoman for the congressional committee, said that after it discovered the breach, “we immediately took action and engaged with CrowdStrike, a leading forensic investigator, to assist us in addressing this incident.”
The attack on the congressional committee’s system appears to have come from an entity known as “Fancy Bear,” which is connected to the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service, according to an official involved in the forensic investigation.
The same arm of Russia’s intelligence operation was also implicated in the attack on the national committee, in which it gained access to opposition research on Republicans, including the party’s presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.
“It’s the same adversary,” the official involved in the forensic investigation said. “These are sophisticated actors.”
The F.B.I. said on Friday that it was examining reports of “cyberintrusions involving multiple political entities” but did not identify the targets of the attacks.
The Clinton campaign used the program that was hacked to analyze voter data, but it did not contain voters’ Social Security numbers or credit card information, a campaign aide said. The campaign said it was confident, based on a review by outside experts, that getting into the program would not have allowed the hackers to gain access to the campaign’s internal emails, voice mail messages or other data.
After the breach in mid-June, when the DNC said its computer systems had been breached by Russian hackers working for competing government intelligence agencies, WikiLeaks released some 20,000 committee emails.
WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hopes to harm Mrs. Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency, opposing her candidacy on both policy and personal grounds. He has said that he has more material about the presidential campaign that he could release, which has raised the specter of more embarrassing disclosures just as Democrats try to capitalize on the momentum coming out of their convention this week.
In a statement, the F.B.I. said that it
“is aware of media reporting on cyberintrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters.”
Clinton campaign officials have suggested that Vladimir Putin could be trying to tilt the election to Mr. Trump, who has expressed admiration for the Russian leader. But the campaign officials acknowledge that they have no evidence. The Trump campaign has dismissed the accusations about Russia as a deliberate distraction.
The C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, declined to comment on the specific allegations but said that
“obviously, interference in the U.S. election process is a very, very serious matter, and I think certainly this government would treat it with great seriousness.”
Donald Trump said Thursday that he was being sarcastic when he appeared to suggest that Russia should use espionage to find Clinton’s emails. He’s finding out that presidents nor presidential nominees, don’t get that luxury when the topic is national security.
The GOP nominee tried to dampen controversy over his apparent call Wednesday for Russia to either stage an espionage cyber hack to find Clinton’s deleted emails or to publish information it had already stolen. Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired the day after his comments at a news conference in Florida sparked a national furor and offered ammunition for Democrats who claim he’s not fit to be president.
“Of course I’m being sarcastic.“
(via NY Times)