Russian hackers breached the Democratic National Committee’s computer network and stole the entire file of opposition research on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a Tuesday report in The Washington Post.
According to The Post, some Russian hackers had access to the DNC for over a year, and had access to chats and emails between staffers. CEO Amy Dacey said that IT noticed strange network activity in April, and expelled hackers over the weekend.
Crowdstrike, an IT security organisation which identified hack, noted on its blog on Tuesday that there were two separate breaches by Russian hackers which have been responsible for a series of past high-profile hacks. Crowdstrike noted that the hackers didn’t appear to be working together, or even aware that the other had also breached the DNC.
The Post reported that the hackers avoidance of donor information indicates that the breach was likely the work of “traditional espionage.”
Political organisations like the DNC and its counterpart the Republican National Committee often spend months building out opposition research files for opposing candidates, which are typically culled from past public statements and actions.
This isn’t the first time the DNC has been hacked this election cycle.
In December, several staffers working on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign accessed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s voter file information, which was built onto existing DNC voter file data.
Though people close to the DNC expressed dismay at the second major high-profile breach this election cycle, others attempted to put a more humorous spin on the hack.
“This just proves what we already knew: that DNC Research Director Lauren Dillon and her team’s opposition research is the envy of the world,” former DNC spokesperson Holly Shulman told Business Insider.
Both the DNC and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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