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The Republican National Committee has forcefully denied a report that their computer systems were breached by Russian state hackers over the weekend, but confirmed that a third-party vendor had been the target of an attack.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Russian government hackers from a group known as APT 29 or Cozy Bear – the same group accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016 – hacked the GOP, citing two unnamed sources purportedly familiar with the matter.
The outlet noted in its story that the RNC denied there was any attack on its systems, quoting RNC spokesman Mike Reed, who said Saturday, "Microsoft informed us that one of our vendors, Synnex, systems may have been exposed." Reed added, "There is no indication the RNC was hacked or any RNC information was stolen. We are investigating the matter and have informed DHS and the FBI."
Following the publication of Bloomberg's report, the RNC's communications director, Danielle Alvarez, immediately said it was untrue.
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"Over the weekend, we were informed that Synnex, a third-party provider, had been breached," RNC Chief of Staff Richard Walters said in a follow-up statement after the report. "We immediately blocked all access from Synnex accounts to our cloud environment. Our team worked with Microsoft to conduct a review of our systems and after a thorough investigation, no RNC data was accessed. We will continue to work with Microsoft, as well as federal law enforcement officials on this matter."
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Synnex issued a statement of its own on Tuesday, confirming that "it is aware of a few instances where outside actors have attempted to gain access, through SYNNEX, to customer applications within the Microsoft cloud environment."
Meanwhile, Bloomberg stands by its reporting, but updated its story to include the RNC's second official statement denying that they were hacked.
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