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The same hackers who infiltrated Democratic Party networks, including the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, have also targeted Republican organizations and the Donald Trump campaign, Reuters reports.
The hackers infected at least one Trump campaign staffer’s email account with malware last year that sent malicious emails to other members of the staff, but it is not known whether they managed to access campaign computers or stole documents.
Last week security officials revealed that the hackers, whom they believe to be linked to Russia, had breached the private email accounts of more than 100 Democratic officials and groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors’ Association, as well as the DNC and members of the Clinton campaign.
Those revelations sparked speculation that the Russian government was attempting to influence the outcome of November’s election, ostensibly by using information acquired through these hacks to damage Clinton and help Trump. The Republican nominee added yet more fuel to that fire when he suggested that the Russians might also try to find the emails deleted from Clinton’s private server.
Wikileaks published 20,000 leaked DNC emails from that alleged hack on its site just days before the Democratic National Convention. Naturally, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange won’t say how the organization obtained the DNC emails, or if the Russians were involved. But he admitted that the trove was purposely released to coincide with the DNC, and he promised that more leaks are coming.
According to Reuters, the attacks on the Trump campaign and various Republican organizations (which Reuters’ sources did not name) bear similar fingerprints to those that targeted the Democrats, leading officials to preliminarily conclude that they, too, were carried out by Russian intelligence agencies or proxies thereof.
Hackers — again, likely Russian — may recently appear to have compromised servers belonging to the Equation Group, a hacking group long believed to be an offshoot of the National Security Agency.
The targeting of Republican organizations may put an end to the conspiracy theory that Trump is in cahoots with the Kremlin, but doesn’t exactly do much to quell fears that Moscow is meddling in American politics.