Emails of top Republicans stolen in major 2018 hack: Politico

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives’ Republican campaign organization was the target of a major hack during the 2018 election that exposed thousands of sensitive emails, Politico reported on Tuesday.

The email accounts of four top aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) were compromised for months in an intrusion detected in April, Politico reported, citing three unidentified senior party officials.

A NRCC vendor alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor, an internal investigation was started and the FBI was alerted, Politico said.

However, senior Republican House leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, were not informed until contacted by the news site.

One senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official said he did not know if the report was accurate and that the agency had not been informed by the NRCC or FBI of such an attack. DHS is the lead agency in charge of election cybersecurity efforts.

The NRCC’s well-known cybersecurity contractor, CrowdStrike, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Committee officials told Politico they did not immediately reveal the hack because they did not want to compromise the investigation.

The NRCC was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Christopher Bing, Jim Finkle, Doina Chiacu; editing by Bill Berkrot)