Well, it appears it was finally the GOP’s turn to get hacked by foreign actors. Politico recently reported that the RNC “suffered a major hack during the 2018 election,” and that the Republican leadership wasn’t even aware of it until the outlet contacted them with questions.
While the cyber-attack did not cause serious harm, it shows that both of America’s political parties might need to update their cybersecurity efforts. In fact, the entire country must ensure that international hackers are unable to steal vital information.
“…Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.”
The GOP Gets Hacked
According to Politico, thousands of sensitive emails between members of the House GOP campaign were hacked by an “outside intruder” during the 2018 midterm elections. Four senior aides working with the National Republican Congressional Committee had their emails surveilled for multiple months.
The hacking was discovered in April of 2018 by a vendor working with the NRCC, who informed the cybersecurity contractor working for the GOP. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also alerted to the cyberattack.
Senior Republican leaders were not aware of the incident, nor were rank-and-file House officials. The individuals who were informed decided to “Withhold the information because they were intent on conducting their own investigation.”
A senior party official told Politico that they would not discuss the details of the hacking because “it’s an ongoing investigation.” But he did explain: “Let’s say they had access to four active accounts. I think you can draw from that.”
Who Hacked The RNC?
The GOP has stated that they are aware of the identity of the “foreign actor” who gained entry to their database. The hackers were not able to access confidential information, but the fact that they succeeded at infiltrating the party’s files is disturbing.
During the 2016 election, hackers targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC). This resulted in the release of several damning emails regarding the Clinton campaign. At the time, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued a dire warning: “I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.”
Rubio, who is not known to wear a robe, carry a staff, or grow a funny beard, served as a prophetic voice for the Republican Party. While it does appear that the authorities know who did this, they haven’t made that information public.
It is clear that foreign actors are intent on meddling in the United States’ electoral processes. Indeed, it is crucial that the American public becomes aware of the fact that other countries are willing to do whatever it takes to further their agendas. After all, the U.S. has influenced elections in other nations, right?
Nevertheless, both parties must make a more concerted effort to prevent hostile foreign powers from obtaining information that could damage the U.S. After the 2016 elections, the Democrats have beefed up their cybersecurity efforts. It appears that the GOP would be wise to follow suit.