The emails of four top NRCC officials were stolen in a major hack that was detected in April, which was just reported yesterday.
The NRCC did not tell Republican leaders or the public that it had been hacked, but did notify the FBI.
The groups is also keeping silent about what information was compromised.
“We don’t want to get into details about what was taken because it’s an ongoing investigation,” a senior party official told Politico.
“Let’s say they had access to four active accounts. I think you can draw from that.”
Politico reported that a different vendor, not CrowdStrike, eventually found the breach:
“The hack was first detected by an MSSP, a managed security services provider that monitors the NRCC’s network. The MSSP informed NRCC officials and they, in turn, alerted Crowdstrike, a well-known cybersecurity firm that had already been retained by the NRCC.
“The NRCC paid Crowdstrike at least $120,000 in 2017, according to campaign finance records.
“CrowdStrike was responding to the DNC’s hack as of May 5, 2016, but emails continued to be stolen for weeks. In fact, the majority of the emails WikiLeaks published were not even written until after May 5.
“That’s despite the fact that CrowdStrike claimed it knew within minutes that the problem was a specific virus and that it was tied to Russia.”
CrowdStrike is headed and was founded by a Russian ex-pat, Dmitri Alperovitch, and a former FBI official, Shawn Henry. The company waited until June 10, 2016, to finally replace the software that it believed was responsible for the compromise.
However, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the DNC at the time, kept the breach secret from the DNC board, and reportedly refused to allow the FBI to examine the server. Instead, she let Crowdstrike do its own ‘investigation.’
“I just hate Crowdstrike so much,” a former senior Democrat information security professional told reporters, “Their incompetence just makes me sigh.”
“Apparently the NRCC didn’t pay attention to security hygiene for their senior staff,” he said.
“This is a continuous problem for senior political staff that think that they’re too senior to have to need good security practices; they’re not technical enough to follow thru with good security practices; or that it’s too much of a hassle to commit to good security practices.”
Democrat Party officials told Politico that they “believe it was a foreign agent due to the nature of the attack.”
Former President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified that the DNC declined help from his agency after the email system was hacked.
“The response I got was, the FBI had spoken to them,” Johnson said. “They don’t want our help. They have CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm … I recall very clearly that I was not pleased that we were not in there helping them patch this vulnerability.”
The fact that Crowdstrike is still operating, and that the Republican Congressional Committee would hire them seems outrageous to most people.