Russian hackers successfully infiltrated the Democratic National Committee’s computer network over the past year and accessed the political committee’s opposition research file on Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Post, which first reported the breach Tuesday, the hackers also accessed all of the DNC’s email and online chat records.
Crowdstrike, a security firm hired by the DNC, detailed the breach in a blog post on its site. The firm “identified two sophisticated adversaries on the network,” Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch wrote. “We’ve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well. In fact, our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis.”
Alperovitch noted that one of the groups which hacked the DNC is the same as the one that successfully infiltrated networks at the White House, State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year.
The DNC wasn’t the only political organization targeted – both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, including other Republican committees – have also been the focus of Russian hackers.
News of the breach comes as political campaigns are getting to grips with the increasing threat posed by hackers, both foreign and domestic. Last month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned presidential campaigns that foreign hackers are targeting them, noting at that time that U.S. officials already “had some indications” that hackers had targeted 2016 campaigns.