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Politics Top GOP official says cyber attackers stole $2.3 million from Republican Party of Wisconsin

17:50  29 october  2020
17:50  29 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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MILWAUKEE – The top official of the Republican Party of Wisconsin said Thursday that hackers stole $2.3 million during a crucial phase of the presidential campaign.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Andrew Hitt © Republican Party of Wisconsin Andrew Hitt

Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said the loss was attributed to a phishing attack that has been reported to the FBI.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office would not confirm or deny they were investigating, citing their protocols.

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"It was a devastating moment," Hitt said of when the discovery was made.

Hitt said the party discovered the attack Oct. 22 and by Friday morning realized the money was taken from accounts and the FBI was notified. The money had been earmarked to pay vendors working on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Hitt said.

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Hitt said the Republican National Committee made the initial contact with the FBI and then he was called by the FBI's Madison Field Office.

"The sophisticated criminal began with a phishing attack," Hitt said. "Once in the system, they were able to manipulate information in our emails and on invoices and documents that then resulted in them obtaining $2.3 million."

Hitt said the attackers "were able to change invoices, wire instructions ... The money was wired to the hackers instead of the vendors."

"Obviously, the hackers were extremely skilled and knowledgeable," he said. "They came into one of the most vital battleground states at the perfect time when resources are being spent."

Hitt said the hackers "targeted only vendors that were working for the president's campaign."

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He emphasized the party was not wiped out financially and still has resources to move forward in the closing days of the campaign.

"The president's re-election plan is in place," he said. "It's an extremely strong plan moving forward and being implemented. A lot of those things are in place."

Even prior to the alleged attack, the RPW was operating at a significant financial disadvantage in this election cycle. The party was vastly behind in fundraising to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Contributing: Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Top GOP official says cyber attackers stole $2.3 million from Republican Party of Wisconsin

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usr: 1
This is interesting!