Hackers Steal More Than $2M From Wisconsin Republican Party
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Hackers have stolen $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party’s chairman told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The party noticed the suspicious activity on Oct. 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday, said Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt.
Hitt said he was not aware of any other state GOP being targeted for a similar hack, but state parties were warned at the Republican National Convention this summer to be on the lookout for cyber attacks.
Hitt said the hackers manipulated invoices from four vendors who were being paid for direct mail for Trump’s reelection efforts as well as for pro-Trump material such as hats to be handed out to supporters. Invoices and other documents were altered so when the party paid them for the services rendered, the money went to the hackers instead of the vendors, Hitt said.
The hack was discovered after someone noticed that an invoice was generated that should not have been, he said.
Hitt said it appears the attack began as a phishing attempt and no data appears to have been stolen, said party spokesman Alec Zimmerman.
The money was stolen from the state party’s federal account, which currently contains about $1.1 million, but that number fluctuates daily because of quick-moving resources late in the campaign, Zimmerman said.