At least 60 Congress members, both Democrats and Republicans, fell victim to a ransomware attack and have subsequently been locked out of their accounts for weeks.
The target was iConstituent, a tech vendor that provides constituent outreach services to dozens of House offices, including a newsletter service that allows lawmakers to communicate with residents in their districts and a service to track constituent casework.
It’s the latest cyber attack after a series of hacks against the US executive branch and American companies have left many institutions feeling vulnerable and the Biden administration struggling to deal with the situation.
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, which handles IT security for the House of Representatives, said there was ‘no impact’ on overall House data and it was working with the company to resolve the situation.
‘At this time, the CAO is not aware of any impact to House data. The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data,’ the office said in a statement.
The reports do not specify the affected lawmakers by the cyber attack and the extent of the constituent data compromised.
This ransomware attack is the latest of highly publicized hackings that have occurred over the past few weeks. For example, the Colonial Pipeline’s response to its ransomware attack led to a week-long fuel crisis in East Cost. Likewise, the JBS Meat Packaging incident resulted in distribution glitches. Officials blamed Russian hackers for both events.
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), which oversees IT security for the House of Representatives, asserts that there was “no impact” on the overall safety of House data.
“‘At this time, the CAO is not aware of any impact to House data. The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data,” the CAO’s office said.
The hack of Congressional constituent data was first reported to Punchbowl News, a membership-based political news site. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, told the publication he “understands there is some frustration at the vendor in question here,” iConstituent. Several lawmakers have paid thousands to iConstituent for its services, according to the latest House disbursements statement.
Given the questionable truthfulness of other government “experts,” I am not consoled.
Reports do not indicate whether anyone has paid any ransom.
Vendors impacted by the ransomware attack include House offices that represent constituents in Hawaii, Nevada, California, and Georgia, among other clients.
Whether iConstituent has paid a ransom to the hackers involved in the attack was not revealed.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.