All the agency's employees were furloughed when the attack was launched
When the United States government was shut down back in October, all of the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) employees were furloughed. Chinese hackers reportedly took the opportunity to breach the agency’s computer systems.According to the Center for Public Integrity, the attack came shortly after an independent auditor warned that the FEC’s systems were highly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
However, the FEC disputed the findings, claiming that its systems were secure.
Three government officials have confirmed for the center that the breach has happened. However, it’s uncertain what the hackers did after gaining access to the agency’s systems. The Department of Homeland Security has launched an investigation.
On the other hand, it’s unsurprising that Chinese actors are once again blamed for a cyber intrusion by the US.
The FEC is the agency that’s in charge of regulating the financing of federal elections.