DNC: Hack attack was actually 'unauthorized test'

By Sommer Brokaw   |   Aug. 23, 2018 at 12:15 PM

Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The Democratic National Committee said an attempt this week to hack into its voter database was actually an unauthorized test.

The DNC contacted the FBI Tuesday after learning a fake login page was created for a service called Votebuilder, which Democratic Party officials use to access the voter database.

The committee believed the page tried to fool users into providing their login information.

Cybersecurity firm Lookout said its "Phishing AI" artificial intelligence automatically picks up such attacks and discovered the fraudulent page Monday night.

Wednesday, though, the DNC clarified the hack -- and said it was apparently an "unauthorized" security test.

"We, along with the partners who reported the site, now believe it was built by a third party as part of a simulated phishing test on VoteBuilder," Bob Lord, chief security officer for the DNC, said. "The test, which mimicked several attributes of actual attacks on the Democratic party's voter file, was not authorized by the DNC, VoteBuilder nor any of our vendors."

The DNC has worked to improve its cyber defenses since it was targeted during the 2016 presidential campaign. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation led to indictments of 12 Russian officers in the attacks.

"The party took the necessary precautions to ensure that sensitive data critical to candidates and state parties across the country was not compromised," Lord added. "There are constant attempts to hack the DNC and our Democratic infrastructure, and while we are extremely relieved that this wasn't an attempted intrusion by a foreign adversary, this incident is further proof that we need to continue to be vigilant in light of potential attacks."

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