NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign for U.S. Senate told the FBI on Thursday that it fears it has been hacked, amid growing concern that candidates in the 2018 election could be targets of cyberattacks.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, campaign lawyer Robert E. Cooper Jr. wrote that Bredesen’s aides became suspicious when someone pretending to be the campaign’s media buyer asked for money to be wired to an international account.
The letter says the person used an email address nearly identical to the actual media buyer’s and knew about an upcoming TV campaign and its proposed dates. Cooper says the campaign hired a cyber-security firm that found the impostor emails were registered through an Arizona-based registrar.
“Thanks to alert action by campaign management, no funds were diverted,” the letter states. “However, due to the fact that the impostors knew the media buy was imminent, we are concerned that there has been an unauthorized intrusion into the extended campaign organization.”
The possible hack comes amid warnings from U.S. officials that the 2018 midterm elections could face additional cyber meddling from Russia and others, from both domestic and international sources.
It’s unclear who may be behind the suspected Bredesen campaign breach or what the motive may have been.
The letter says the campaign’s internal review is ongoing. The campaign has since bought the TV ad time and the spot is running.
Additionally, Bredesen sent an email to his contact list Thursday telling people not to open a document in a Wednesday email that appears to be from him. He wrote that the fake emails have the domain “bredesens.com,” compared to his “bredesen.com” domain.