DNC says Russian hacking campaign targeted Democrats after 2018 midterms

January 18, 2019

The Democratic National Committee was targeted by a hacking campaign conducted days after the 2018 midterm elections concluded, lawyers for the DNC said in a federal court filing late Thursday.

“In November 2018, dozens of DNC email addresses were targeted in a spearphishing campaign, although there is no evidence that the attack was successful,” the filing said. “The content of these emails and their timestamps were consistent with a spear-phishing campaign that leading cybersecurity experts have tied to Russian intelligence. Therefore, it is probable that Russian intelligence again attempted to unlawfully infiltrate DNC computers in November 2018.”

The malicious emails were sent on Nov. 14, more than a week after the 2018 midterms ended, and consistent with previous messages attributed to “Cozy Bear,” a label applied by security researchers to a group presumed to be associated with Russian intelligence, according to the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the DNC laid the claim in an amended complaint entered in Manhatten federal court as part a lawsuit initiated in April in response to the theft and disclosure of internal Democratic Party emails during the 2016 race.

Russian state-sponsored hackers breached Democratic targets including the DNC and obtained correspondence ultimately released by outlets including the WikiLeaks website prior to President Trump defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the election, according to U.S. officials.

The DNC subsequently sued more than a dozen defendants accused of participating in the scheme, including the Russian government, Mr. Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks, among others, before amending that suit Thursday to include the updated allegation.

Russia has previously denied involvement in the DNC hack, and the White House has denied that Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 race.