Cyber Risk

Wisconsin Republican Party says hackers stole $2.3 million

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in West Salem, Wisconsin, U.S. October 27, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Hackers stole $2.3 million from a Wisconsin Republican Party account that was being used to help U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election bid in the swing state, the party said in a statement on Thursday.

The Wisconsin Republicans said that hackers got the money by doctoring invoices sent under the name of the party’s vendors. It said the party noticed the suspicious activity on Oct. 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday.

There was no immediate response to an email seeking comment from the FBI.

“These criminals exhibited a level of familiarity with state party operations at the end of the campaign to commit this crime,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said in the statement.

Trump won Wisconsin by a small margin in 2016 and it remains a state that could help decide the Nov. 3 election, with both the president and Democratic challenger Joe Biden making strenuous efforts to rally supporters there.

Reuters/Ipsos polling from Oct. 20-26 shows Biden with a solid 53% to 44% lead over Trump in the state.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Chris Sanders; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Bill Berkrot