Hackers Steal $2.3 Million From Trump Wisconsin Campaign Account
Local chairman doesn’t believe any of the party’s data was stolen. Hackers Steal $2.3 Million From Trump Wisconsin Campaign Account
Wisconsin Republican Party officials said computer hackers stole $2.3 million from an account they used to help finance President Trump’s re-election efforts in the battleground state.
Chairman Andrew Hitt said Thursday the party noticed suspicious activity about a week ago and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The hackers manipulated invoices from four vendors handling direct mail and other campaign material, directing funds to be sent to them instead of the actual service providers, Mr. Hitt said. The hack was discovered when an employee noticed an invoice had been generated that should not have been, he said.
The theft appears to have been started through a phishing attempt, a practice in which hackers try to trick recipients into thinking an email is from a legitimate source and get them to click on a link that can create security problems.
The FBI’s media office in Milwaukee didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Mr. Hitt said he doesn’t believe any of the party’s data was stolen and that the missing money won’t weaken the president’s re-election efforts in the closing days of the campaign.
“We continue to be working vigorously toward winning on Nov. 3,” he said. “These funds were for services rendered, and the president’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have fully funded Wisconsin.”
Additional fundraising will have to be undertaken to make the vendors whole, Mr. Hitt said, if the funds aren’t quickly recovered by way of law-enforcement efforts.
Mr. Hitt said it is unclear if the hack was politically motivated, but he did note that only vendors involved with the president’s campaign were targeted, not dozens of others in the party’s computer systems involved with local and congressional district races.
“It’s interesting that their focus was solely on efforts we were making to re-elect the president,” he said. “They focused on vendors that were working for the president.”
News of the theft comes just a day before Mr. Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are both scheduled to make campaign appearances in the state.
Mr. Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes out of almost three million cast, making the outcome there the third-narrowest among states he won in 2016. He was the first Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to carry the state.
A Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin released Wednesday showed Mr. Biden leading Mr. Trump in the state among likely voters, 48% to 43%.
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