Wisconsin Public Radio

Hackers Steal $2.3 Million from State GOP

A "sophisticated phishing attack" stole from Trump reelection fund.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Oct 29th, 2020 04:09 pm
Supporters greet President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at a rally in West Salem. Angela Major/WPR

Supporters greet President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at a rally in West Salem. Angela Major/WPR

Hackers have stolen $2.3 million from the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s fund dedicated to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, the party said Thursday.

Party chairman Andrew Hitt said hackers used a “sophisticated phishing attack” to alter invoices from vendors the party has been using during the presidential campaign and to commit wire fraud. It discovered the attack late last week and immediately reported it to the FBI.

Phishing is when hackers send emails or other messages posing as legitimate companies, attempting to trick people into sharing personal information, like passwords or credit card numbers.

“While a large sum of money was stolen, our operation is running at full capacity with all the resources deployed to ensure President Donald J. Trump carries Wisconsin on November 3rd,” Hitt said in a prepared statement.

The party said no data was stolen in the attack.

A spokesperson for the FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to campaign finance reports filed earlier this month, the Republican Party of Wisconsin has trailed the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in fundraising this year. Republicans reported $6.5 million raised so far in 2020, while Democrats reported $18.4 million.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said it has been targeted by “at least 800 phishing attempts this (election) cycle,” at least half of which tried to access money, but that none of the attempts were successful.

Wisconsin is still considered to be a crucial state in the 2020 presidential election. Recent polls continue to show a tight race and both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are scheduled to hold in-person campaign events in the state Friday.

Wisconsin GOP: Hackers Stole $2.3M From Trump Re-Election Fund was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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