According to Bloomberg’s two unnamed sources, the hackers belong to a group known as APT 29, or Cozy Bear, which is known to have ties to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. The group has previously been accused of carrying out cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee in 2016, and on the software company SolarWinds in 2020.
A spokesperson for the RNC told Bloomberg that although its systems had been “exposed,” no data had been stolen.
“Microsoft informed us that one of our vendors, Synnex, systems may have been exposed,” the spokesman, Mike Reed, said in a statement. “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.”
Synnex, a California-based IT company, said in a statement that it was “aware of a few instances where outside actors have attempted to gain access, through Synnex, to customer applications within the Microsoft cloud environment.”
The apparent breach comes less than a month after President Biden’s meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Geneva, where the US president says he sternly warned Mr Putin that there would be consequences for further cyberattacks.
“I looked at him, I said: ‘Well, how would you feel if ransomware took down the pipelines from your oil fields?’ He said it would matter,” Mr Biden told reporters after the summit. “This is not about just our self-interest. This is about our mutual self-interest.”
The Russian government has not yet confirmed or denied its alleged involvement in the RNC breach.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies