The FBI did not warn the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after allegedly knowing for months it was a target of a Russian cyber attack.
FBI agents met with DNC officials on several occasions to discuss the committee’s network security, according to Reuters. During these meetings, the FBI failed to mention it was investigating potential Russian espionage on DNC’s systems. They advised DNC officials on how to vet their network for signs of suspicious or abnormal activity. DNC staff parsed through their files and found nothing was askew, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
DNC staffers apparently petitioned for more advice on how to track potential intrusions, but the agency declined.
The Russian cybercriminals, who are believed to be state-sponsored, committed the breaches during a very active time for DNC staffers because of the U.S. presidential race. If the FBI had fully disclosed what the bureau had been investigating, DNC staffers could have reacted sooner and limited the amount of classified emails and documents stolen, a source told Reuters.
CNN, however, reported last week that “Federal investigators” did in fact attempt to alert the DNC about a possible intrusion in its computer networks. The warning was allegedly not specific.
The DNC hired tech experts in April for consultation on cybersecurity, but the damage was done by the time suspected Russian hackers were purged from the network in June, CNN reports.
Wikileaks released the massive amounts of information a day before the Democratic National Convention. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she was stepping down from her post after incriminating emails revealed her and the committee treated Sen. Bernie Sanders unfairly, and even colluded to ensure Hillary Clinton received the Democratic nomination,
Glen Caplin, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, stressed that while they attempted to safeguard its internal information, Russia’s cybercriminal activity was too much to handle.
“Multiple Democratic party organizations, including our campaign and staff, have been the subject of attempted cyber attacks that experts say are Russian intelligence agencies, which enlist some of the most sophisticated hackers in the world,” Caplin told Reuters.
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