Democratic Party officials reportedly are bracing for the possibility that another batch of damaging or embarrassing internal emails — the kind that cost the party chairman her job on the eve of the Democratic National Convention — could become public before the November presidential election.
That fear reportedly comes as officials with knowledge of a Russian cyberattack that targeted Democratic politicians and organizations told The New York Times that the breach was bigger than first thought and exposed the private email accounts of more than 100 party officials and groups — including the personal email accounts of Hillary Clinton’s key campaign officials.
The apparent wider breach reportedly has prompted the FBI to broaden its investigation, and agents have begun notifying top Democratic officials that the Russians may have breached their personal accounts, the Times reported.
An earlier release of emails just days before the party convention in Philadelphia cost Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job as party chairman, while party CEO Amy Dacey; chief finance officer Brad Marshall; and communications director Luis Miranda resigned last week.
The New York Times reported that the Democratic Governors’ Association also may have been affected by the security breach.
In all cases, the malware used in the hacking points to Russian involvement, sources told the Times.
The FBI and other intelligence officials are taking the matter seriously and have briefed staff members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee, the Times reported.
Groups tied to the Democratic Party reportedly have been going through files and emails to see what may have been compromised and also have been beefing up cybersecurity defenses.
A DNC member said the threats have been taken “seriously,” but declined to further explain what measures have been taken to ensure that their security was up to par and wouldn’t be breached again.
Sources told Fox News last month that a hack into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the fundraising arm for House Democrats — bears similarities to the breach of the Democratic National Committee, including malware that points to Russian involvement.
The motive behind the hacking attacks is unknown, a federal law enforcement official told the Times.
It does not appear that Russian hackers have tried to gain access to any email servers used by the Donald Trump campaign, officials told the Times.