The hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 posted the personal information, including email addresses and cell phone numbers, of nearly 200 Democratic politicians on his website.
The hacker claims the information was stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The hacker, or group of hackers, going by the name “Guccifer 2.0” said the records were stolen as part of a breach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. A number of files were posted onto Guccifer 2.0’s website, including a spreadsheet that has information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, for 193 people. The cellphone numbers of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland were among the information posted.
Mr. Hoyer, reached on the cellphone number listed on the spreadsheet, said he wasn’t aware that this information had been stolen or posted online.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it, obviously,” he said Friday evening.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Word began to spread Friday evening among Democrats whose personal information was posted, and several became furious, a congressional staffer said. Not all the information appeared to be correct, as at least one email address listed on the spreadsheet was no longer current.
The spreadsheet also included many personal email addresses and cellphone numbers for the lawmakers’ chiefs of staffs, schedulers, and legislative directors.
Hours after the information was posted online, an email list-serve run by the Democratic Caucus sent a notice to recipients informing them to “change passwords to all email accounts that you use” and also to “strongly consider changing your non-House email addresses if possible.”
It also told them to “be extremely suspicious” before opening any emailed links or attachments and to consider changing passwords for banking accounts, among other things.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, whose cellphone number was revealed in the spreadsheet, said in a statement, “I have every confidence that law enforcement will get to the bottom of this, and identify the responsible parties. And when they do, I hope the Administration will disclose who is attempting to interfere with the American political process, and levy strong consequences against those responsible.”
The posting of the cellphone numbers and personal email addresses of members of Congress has national security implications. Included in the spreadsheet were the personal information of members of the House Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees. Foreign spies could use that information to try to intercept sensitive communications.
“This is sensitive information and it could be used in a very detrimental way by a foreign government,” Mr. Hoyer said.
Guccifer 2.0 is the same hacker who claimed responsibility for the DNC email breach. Cybersecurity experts believe the hacker is working for, or a part of the Russian government.
Guccifer 2.0 also posted some emails hacked from Republican servers, although the documents appear to be innocuous recountings of campaign trivia rather than containing any explosive revelations.
The DCCC hack is more than a nuisance and becomes a serious threat given the kinds of information that was released. But the overall message from the hacker and whoever is backing him is pretty clear: no one’s information is safe.
It should be dawning on all of us that our systems — from the election, to the power grid, to air traffic control — are extremely vulnerable to a determined hacker and government. More must be done to secure these systems before we suffer a real tragedy.