Washington: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign along with other Democratic Party organisations has been hacked as part of a larger cyber attack, law enforcement officials said on Friday night. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Justice Department has launched a probe against the latest hack that follows two data breaches involving the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DNCC), CNN reported.
“An analytics data programme maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack,” said Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill. “Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised,” CNN quoted Merrill as saying
The intrusion was discovered by private investigators hired by the campaign, according to the law enforcement officials. The private investigators believed that it was similar to the DNC hack, but federal investigators were still working to determine the scope and nature of the intrusion, the officials said.
The Justice Department’s national security division, which was already investigating the DNC intrusion, is handling the probe because of the believed similarities, CNN reported citing the officials as saying. The DCCC, which is the political arm for House Democrats, confirmed on Friday it had been the subject of a cyberhack, raising the possibility that alleged Russian hackers might have breached a much broader swath of Democratic records than originally thought.
The revelation comes just days after the leak of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails — US officials allege Russian hackers — prompted major turmoil within the party, causing the abrupt resignation of its chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, reports CNN.
The FBI’s chief of cyber investigations James Trainor told CNN in an interview recently that hackers have targeted political party entities and think tanks in Washington. The official said there is a long list of intrusions that the FBI and other agencies were also investigating.
Hacking has become a major flashpoint in the presidential race. Revelations about targeting the Clinton campaign come as the two nominees — Republican party’s Donald Trump) are set to begin receiving national security briefings, CNN noted.
Trump earlier in the week drew criticism for appearing to suggest that Russia should use espionage to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. The Republican nominee later tried to walk back the comments by saying that he was only being sarcastic.