The recent hack that targeted US Democratic officials and led to the resignation of Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was much bigger than initially suspected, according to a new report from the New York Times.
Sources tell the paper that over 100 officials and groups had their private email accounts breached, and the primary targets appear to include Hillary Clinton campaign officials. The Democratic Governors’ Association may also have been affected. As a result, the FBI has widened its investigation, and authorities have begun reaching out to Democratic officials to tell them that their accounts may have been compromised. Previously, officials said the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee were the targets of the hackers, who were reportedly from Russia.
Democratic sources are apparently readying themselves for the possibility of another embarrassing data dump before November. Last month, Wasserman Schultz resigned after emails obtained in the hack saw party officials rooting for Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
Authorities are still unsure if this was a standard case of political hacking or whether it was intended to specifically screw up the 2016 US electoral process. There’s no proof that hackers gained access to the accounts of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but Trump did ask Russia — jokingly, he claimed — to hack Clinton to recover her “lost” emails.
In July, WikiLeaks published a trove of nearly 20,000 emails — many of which included social security numbers and other personal information — obtained in the hack. Not long after, Julian Assange bragged that the group had “more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign”. And this week, WikiLeaks offered $US20,000 ($25,942) as a reward for information about former DNC staffer Seth Rich, whose death last month prompted whisperings that he was involved in the hack. (Assange isn’t Clinton’s biggest fan.)
As for the Democrats, they’re reportedly “scrubbing their files to determine what internal information might have been compromised” and “shoring up their cybersecurity defences to guard against another attack”, according to the Times. How many days until the election again?