Russians Tried To Hack Republican National Committee : NPR

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Hackers associated with the Russian government gained access last week to a contractor for the Republican National Committee, the RNC said in a statement Tuesday.

The RNC said that its contractor Synnex had been hacked, but added no access was gained to any RNC data.

“We immediately blocked all access from Synnex accounts to our cloud environment,” Richard Walters, the RNC’s chief of staff, said. “Our team worked with Microsoft to conduct a review of our systems and after a thorough investigation, no RNC data was accessed. We will continue to work with Microsoft, as well as federal law enforcement officials, on this matter.”

The FBI said it “is aware of the incident and has no additional comment at this time.”

The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

The breach would be the second major cyberattack by a Russian network on the United States in recent days. A ransomware attack by the Russian-language REvil gang struck at least 200 U.S. companies over the weekend.

President Biden said that attack did “minimal damage to U.S. businesses, but we’re still gathering information.”

Biden did not say whether the United States would retaliate for the attack, but he is expected to convene a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security, as well as leaders from the intelligence community on the U.S. strategy to counter ransomware attacks.

Biden met last month with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Geneva and said that he demanded that the Kremlin rein in such activities against the U.S. He later told reporters that he presented Putin with a lit of 16 critical sectors of the U.S. economy, which if targeted would provoke a U.S. response.

“If, in fact, they violate these basic norms, we will respond with cyber,” Biden said at the time.

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