WASHINGTON (AP) — The computers of the House Democratic campaign committee have been hacked in an intrusion that investigators say resembles the recent cyber breach of the Democratic National Committee, a spokeswoman for the committee said Friday. The incident added another layer of mystery to the hacking of Democratic Party information that has been revealed in the heat of this year's presidential and congressional elections.
Details were initially unclear about exactly who tapped into the computers and which information was accessed at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with spokeswoman Meredith Kelly saying the committee was "the target of a cybersecurity incident." The organization raises money and provides other assistance for the party's House candidates.
President Barack Obama has said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the hack of the Democratic National Committee, an assertion with which cybersecurity experts have agreed. That breach led to the release by WikiLeaks on July 22, days before the Democratic national convention began, of 19,000 emails showing that supposedly neutral party officials were favoring Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during their primary contest for the presidential nomination.
As a result of that disclosure, party chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., announced her resignation this week.
Kelly said the congressional campaign committee is using CrowdStrike Inc., a computer security firm based in Irvine, California, and is "cooperating with the federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation." She said her organization is "continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network in the face of these recent events."
A House Democratic aide said late Thursday that the FBI is investigating the hack.
CrowdStrike issued a statement confirming its work for the congressional campaign committee but provided no additional details.
Computer hacking, emails and indications of Russian involvement have evolved into a political issue in the presidential campaign between Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.
This week, Trump encouraged Russia to seek and release more than 30,000 other missing emails deleted by Clinton, the former secretary of state. Democrats accused him of trying to get a foreign adversary to conduct espionage that could affect this November's elections, but Trump later said he was merely being sarcastic.
Clinton deleted the emails from her private server, saying they were private, before handing other messages over to the State Department. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Clinton over her email practices, but FBI Director James Comey called her "extremely careless" in handling classified information.
The DCCC hack was first reported by Reuters.