Report: Clinton campaign computer network hacked - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Report: Clinton campaign computer network hacked

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By: PHIL HELSEL, JOSH MEYER, TRACY CONNOR and ERIC MARRAPODI

(NBC) - A computer network used by Hillary Clinton's campaign was breached by hackers, it was reported Friday, in what could be the latest revelation in a series of cyber-attacks on Democratic Party properties.

Reuters cited anonymous sources in reporting that the computer network was hacked. Reuters did not say when the reported cyber attack occurred, and said it was not clear what information hackers would have been able to access.

NBC News has not independently confirmed the report. The FBI said Friday it is aware of the reports.

"The FBI is aware of media reporting on cyber intrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters. The cyber threat environment continues to evolve as cyber actors target all sectors and their data," The FBI said in a statement. "The FBI takes seriously any allegations of intrusions, and we will continue to hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

 The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond. A spokesman for the Donald Trump campaign said Friday: "This seems to be a problem wherever Hillary Clinton goes. Hopefully this time there wasn't classified or top secret information that puts American lives at risk."

News of the reported hack comes after cyber attacks on Democratic Party groups, including the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's computer system.

The DCCC confirmed the hack Friday and said it was "similar" to the cyber attack on the DNC. The hack on the DNC has been blamed on the Russian government.

A senior U.S. official told NBC News that the FBI is investigating the intrusion on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's computer system but that agents have not yet found a link to the earlier DNC hack.

The Kremlin has denied it is behind either breach — and a top official responded to the allegations on Friday by denouncing a "poisonous anti-Russian" narrative coming out of Washington.

The disclosure that the DCCC was hacked escalated concern among U.S. national security officials that the intrusions are aimed at swaying the outcome of the presidential election.

The DCCC, which raises money for Democrats running for House seats, said in a statement that it has retained the forensic investigation firm CrowdStrike, which was also retained by the DNC. The firm concluded two Russian security agencies had hacked into its servers and internal files.

"Based on the information we have to date, we've been advised by investigators that this is similar to other recent incidents, including the DNC breach," DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement.

"The DCCC takes this matter very seriously. With the assistance of leading experts we have taken and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network in the face of these recent events. We are cooperating with the federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation."

Days before the Democratic convention that kicked off Monday, the website WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 internal emails from Democratic National Committee officials.

Some of the emails appeared to show that some officials favored the Clinton campaign over her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. The emails inflamed suspicions among some Sanders supporters, and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she would resign.

WikiLeaks did not say where it got the emails it released.

As NBC News reported this week, senior U.S. national security officials are confident that Russian intelligence agencies hacked the DNC but have not determined if those agencies gave the material to WikiLeaks for the pre-convention email release.

Trump further fanned the flames of speculation when he seemed to invite Russia to release any Clinton emails they might have. The comments were condemned as inviting the Russian government to commit espionage against the U.S.

The Clinton campaign put out a statement earlier this week blasting Trump's remarks: "This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. That's not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."

Trump later called his remarks a "joke."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has complimented Trump in recent weeks. Trump has in the past praised Putin.

Trump last week in an interview with The New York Times suggested that if he were president the U.S. would not necessarily defend new NATO members in the Baltics in the event of Russian attack if he were elected to the White House.

Trump said in the interview that doing so would depend on whether those countries had "fulfilled their obligations to us" in terms of their financial contributions to the alliance.

NATO was formed during the Cold War to protect nations from the then-Soviet Union. NATO's treaty states that an attack on one member state constitutes an attack on all, a principle enshrined in Article 5 of the alliance's treaty.

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