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Tipsheet

Yikes: Republicans Suffered Major Cyber Hack During 2018 Election

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which plays a key role in electing new members and holding onto red seats in the House, was a victim of a major cyber attack during the 2018-midterm election. 

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POLITICO has the exclusive

The House GOP campaign arm suffered a major hack during the 2018 election, exposing thousands of sensitive emails to an outside intruder, according to three senior party officials.

The email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were surveilled for several months, the party officials said. The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. An internal investigation was initiated and the FBI was alerted to the attack, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the incident.

None of the information accessed during the hack — thousands of emails from senior NRCC aides — has appeared in public, party officials said. And they said there were no attempts to threaten the NRCC or its leadership during the campaign with exposure of the information.

According to the story senior House leadership, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise, was not informed about the attack.

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In the age of digital warfare and politics, hacked emails have been used as ammunition against opposing campaigns. In 2016, the Trump campaign used hacked DNC emails, which were published by Wikileaks, against the Clinton campaign. 

As noted, none of the surveilled emails have been released to the public.

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