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Politics: Top GOP official says cyber attackers stole $2.3 million from Republican Party of Wisconsin

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MILWAUKEE – The top official of the Republican Party of Wisconsin said Thursday that hackers stole $ 2 . 3 million during a crucial phase of the presidential campaign. Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said the loss was attributed to a phishing attack that has been reported to the FBI. Hitt said the party discovered the attack Oct. 22 and by Friday morning realized the money was taken from accounts and the FBI was notified. The money had been earmarked to pay vendors working on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Hitt said .

The Wisconsin GOP was reportedly targeted in a phishing attack that scammed $ 2 . 3 million from an account being used for President Donald Trump?s re-election efforts, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. According to Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt, the hackers altered invoices from four vendors requesting payment for Republicans in Wisconsin have raised million , compared to million raised by state Democrats. Hitt told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that while discovering the loss was ?devastating,? he said their operation still has the resources it needs to move forward.

MILWAUKEE – The top official of the Republican Party of Wisconsin said Thursday that hackers stole $2.3 million during a crucial phase of the presidential campaign.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Andrew Hitt © Republican Party of Wisconsin Andrew Hitt

Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said the loss was attributed to a phishing attack that has been reported to the FBI.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office would not confirm or deny they were investigating, citing their protocols.

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"It was a devastating moment," Hitt said of when the discovery was made.

Hitt said the party discovered the attack Oct. 22 and by Friday morning realized the money was taken from accounts and the FBI was notified. The money had been earmarked to pay vendors working on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Hitt said.

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Hackers stole $ 2 . 3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party intended for President Donald Trump's reelection effort, state party officials confirmed to ABC News Thursday. "Cybercriminals, using a sophisticated phishing attack , stole funds intended for the re-election of President Trump, altered invoices and Officials said the money stolen came only stolen from the Wisconsin GOP 's federal account, which goes toward President Trump's reelection in the state. "These criminals exhibited a level of familiarity with state party operations at the end of the campaign to commit this crime," Hitt said .

Hackers stole $ 2 . 3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party 's account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party 's chairman told The Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 29.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File). Hitt said he was not aware of any other state GOP being targeted for a similar hack, but state parties were warned at the Republican National Convention this summer to be on the lookout for cyber attacks . Campaign finance reports filed this week in Wisconsin show Democrats have raised far more money than Republicans .

Hitt said the Republican National Committee made the initial contact with the FBI and then he was called by the FBI's Madison Field Office.

"The sophisticated criminal began with a phishing attack," Hitt said. "Once in the system, they were able to manipulate information in our emails and on invoices and documents that then resulted in them obtaining $2.3 million."

Hitt said the attackers "were able to change invoices, wire instructions ... The money was wired to the hackers instead of the vendors."

"Obviously, the hackers were extremely skilled and knowledgeable," he said. "They came into one of the most vital battleground states at the perfect time when resources are being spent."

Hitt said the hackers "targeted only vendors that were working for the president's campaign."

Hackers stole $2.3 million from Trump reelection funds in Wisconsin

  Hackers stole $2.3 million from Trump reelection funds in Wisconsin The thieves created fake invoices to look like vendors that the Wisconsin Republican Party worked with.The Wisconsin GOP disclosed in a statement that hackers targeted and stole from the organization's Trump reelection funds in the battleground state, with less than a week to go until Election Day. The Associated Press first reported on the cyberattack.

— Hackers stole $ 2 . 3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party 's account that was being used to help re-elect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party 's chairman told The Associated Press on Thursday. Hitt said he was not aware of any other state GOP being targeted for a similar hack, but state parties were warned at the Republican National Convention this summer to be on the lookout for cyber attacks . Campaign finance reports filed this week in Wisconsin show Democrats have raised far more money than Republicans .

The head of the Wisconsin Republican Party says hackers stole $ 2 . 3 million from the party ’s account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. The reported hack exposed new tensions in the final days of the race between the Trump campaign and the state party , which overspent and failed to properly account for its expenditures in 2018, leading to a shakeup in top party leadership. Campaign officials in Wisconsin learned about the alleged hack from media reports and were furious that state officials had not briefed them on how it might impact

He emphasized the party was not wiped out financially and still has resources to move forward in the closing days of the campaign.

"The president's re-election plan is in place," he said. "It's an extremely strong plan moving forward and being implemented. A lot of those things are in place."

Even prior to the alleged attack, the RPW was operating at a significant financial disadvantage in this election cycle. The party was vastly behind in fundraising to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Contributing: Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Top GOP official says cyber attackers stole $2.3 million from Republican Party of Wisconsin

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