Russian government hackers gained access to the Democratic National Committee’s entire cache of opposition research on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and hacked the network thoroughly enough to read all email and chat traffic, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The spies also targeted Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, along with computers of some Republican political action committees, anonymous U.S. officials told the Post, but further details about those data breaches were not available.
Although some of the Russian hackers had access to the DNC’s computers for a year, the committee said no financial, donor, or personal information appears to have been accessed or stolen. The hackers were pushed out last weekend after a major clean-up campaign, anonymous committee officials told the paper.
The hack was likely an act of “traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers,” according to the report, which also characterized the intrusions as evidence of the Russians’ internet in analyzing and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of America’s next President.
“Their job when they wake up every day is to gather intelligence against the policies, practices and strategies of the U.S. government,” Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm called in to combat the DNC hack, said in the report.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the Post the organization moved as quickly as possible to secure its network once the hack was detected.
A spokesman for the Russian Embassy reached by the Post had no knowledge of the hacks.