The same hackers behind the hacking of the DNC also directly targeted conservative think-tank, Heritage Foundation.
The non-profit worked closely with the Trump transition team prior to and during the election period. The Trump campaign would utilize their connection to Heritage for research related to eventual policy ideas – this is public knowledge.
Advertisement - story continues below
Phishing attempts were brought up to Heritage employees just two weeks before the election, and the FBI contacted Heritage about these phishing attempts.
“The same threat groups that have been releasing information about the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and recently John Podesta have been targeting specific people within Heritage via phishing campaigns,” the email, dated Oct. 24, 2016, said. “Our security monitoring tools and services show no signs of an active compromise. However, we were contacted by the FBI agent-in-charge regarding emails sent to Heritage staff in August and September.”
TheDC has obtained a copy of that email, and former Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint confirmed the phishing attempts to TheDC on Tuesday. DeMint added that the hacking attempts (to his knowledge) were largely unsuccessful. DeMint said that the hackers targeted employees who were “outside” of Heritage’s firewall. DeMint added that they never had any indication that Russian hackers ever infiltrated Heritage’s internal computer systems.
“The private sector like us have developed a lot better security systems than the government has and that was one of the things that frustrated me as one of the rankings members on [the Senate Commerce Committee], we were like 10 years behind in the government,” said DeMint, a former Republican senator.
“The private sector has gotten a lot better, but I still think that the Defense Department, the government and apparently the states with their voting booths are not very well protected.”