Sen. Patrick J. Toomey is the latest U.S. politician to announce his campaign was the target of an attempt to hack into its emails. Google notified Toomey’s office that “hackers from a nation state may have attempted to infiltrate specific email accounts associated with his campaign apparatus” through a phishing scam, Steve Kelly, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement. “This underscores the cybersecurity threats our government, campaigns, and elections are currently facing,” Kelly said. “It is essential that Congress impose tough penalties on any entity that undermines our institutions.” The attacks were not successful. Toomey’s Senate office has not been the target of similar hacking attempts.
Google has not elaborated on the basis of their claim that the hackers may have had ties to a nation-state.
Toomey’s campaign is an odd target for an email phishing attack since he isn’t up for re-election until 2022. He folded up his campaign shortly after winning a second term in 2016.
The email accounts that were targeted are “dormant,” Kelly said, and “haven’t been active in over a year.”