Report: Russian Hackers Breach RNC

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 27: President Donald Trump speaks on the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention with a speech delivered in front a live audience on the South Lawn of the White House on T... WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 27: President Donald Trump speaks on the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention with a speech delivered in front a live audience on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday, August 27, 2020. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 6, 2021 5:36 p.m.

Hackers affiliated with the Russian government breached the Republican National Committee last week, Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg identified the hackers as part of Cozy Bear, a team tied to Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

The RNC referred Bloomberg to an earlier statement it had issued denying that its networks were breached. Instead, the RNC claimed that no data had been taken, and that it had only received a notice from Microsoft saying that a vendor had been breached and that the RNC could be affected.

“Over the weekend, we were informed that Synnex, a third party provider, had been breached,” an RNC spokesperson told TPM in a statement. “We immediately blocked all access from Synnex accounts to our cloud environment. Our team worked with Microsoft to conduct a review of our systems and after a thorough investigation, no RNC data was accessed.”

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Microsoft declined to comment directly, citing client confidentiality.

The RNC named a vendor in its statement called Synnex. The company issued a statement on Tuesday confirming only that it was aware of attempts to “gain access” to its systems.

The potential scope of the attack is unclear, as is whether the hackers managed to obtain any data or information from the RNC. But the breach immediately brings to mind the 2016 presidential campaign, when hackers with Russian intelligence breached the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Emails from the hack were released batch-by-batch via Wikileaks throughout the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.

The purported breach comes as Russian hackers are thought to be behind another ransomware attack on a Miami-based software provider.

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