STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'Misstep' by Michigan Democrats caused a cybersecurity scare and prompted the DNC to call the FBI

The Democratic National Committee said late Wednesday night that what it had ...

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 8:05 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 8:05 PM

The Democratic National Committee said late Wednesday night that what it had earlier feared was the beginning of a sophisticated attempt to hack into its voter database, was, in fact, an unauthorized "simulated phishing test" and not an actual attempt to hack into its systems by an adversary.

The Democratic Party of Michigan confirmed to CNN on Thursday morning that it had made a "misstep" and was responsible for the scare.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Democratic National Convention

Digital crime

Digital security

Government and public administration

Political events

Political organizations

Political party conventions

Politics

Technology

US Democratic Party

US political parties

Banking, finance and investments

Business, economy and trade

Consumer loans and credit

Credit card crime

Credit cards

Fraud and financial crimes

Personal finance

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

"We have taken heightened steps to fortify our cybersecurity -- especially as the Trump Administration refuses to crack down on foreign interference in our elections. In an abundance of caution, our digital partners ran tests that followed extensive training. Despite our misstep and the alarms that were set off, it's most important that all of the security systems in place worked," Brandon Dillon, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Bob Lord, the DNC's chief security officer, briefed Democratic officials after detecting a fake login page that was designed to look like the access page Democratic Party officials and campaigns across the country use to log into a service called Votebuilder, which hosts the party's voter database, a Democratic party source told CNN.

The initial detection of the apparent hacking attempt by a cybersecurity firm on Monday prompted the DNC to call the FBI, the source said.

"This attempt is further proof that there are constant threats as we head into midterm elections and we must remain vigilant in order to prevent future attacks," Lord said in a statement released shortly after.

However, as the committee continued its investigation on Wednesday, it became clear that the apparent hack was not what it seemed.

In a statement, Lord said, "We have continued to investigate the phishing site reported to the DNC yesterday. 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. 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."

It is not uncommon for organizations to run tests to identify gaps in that organization's cybersecurity practices. However, in this case, Democrats in Michigan did so without the knowledge of the DNC.

"Cybersecurity experts agree this kind of testing is critical to protecting an organization's infrastructure, and we will continue to work with our partners, including the DNC, to protect our systems and our democracy," the chair of the Michigan Democrats said in a statement Thursday.

Lord said the DNC had taken the "necessary precautions to ensure that sensitive data critical to candidates and state parties across the country was not compromised."

"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," he added.

The DNC's snafu comes amid reporting of other attempted hacks on Democratic campaigns. Last week, it emerged two Democratic primary campaigns in California had been breached earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said it had thwarted part of a Russian military intelligence operation targeting the US Senate and conservative think tanks that advocated for tougher policies against Russia.

West Lafayette
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Rensselaer
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Frankfort
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Active Weather Pattern for the Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events