The NRA has been held up as the boogieman in so many instances that it’s hard for some to think of them as the victims. However, the NRA is like any other organization. They can be victimized like any corporation or non-profit, particularly by hackers.
In fact, because they’re so reviled by so many, the group makes an inviting target, especially since hackers would know that the American government isn’t going to expend any real resources trying to bring anyone to justice over it.
Which would make an interesting thought experiment if it hadn’t already happened.
As Stephen Gutowski notes over at The Reload, we’re seeing that it may have been worse than we first thought.
Russian ransomware hackers have released what they allege are hundreds more sensitive NRA documents.
Internal financial reports and the personal information of NRA staff were among the documents posted on Wednesday. The release is the fourth batch of records published in an apparent attempt to extort the NRA into paying a ransom. The personal information of dozens of current and former staff, including bank account and social security numbers, was exposed in the latest release.
Those affected by the leaks include top leadership and low-level seasonal employees. The documents appear to cover many of the staff the NRA has hired or rehired over the past year. That’s all in addition to the personal information of dozens of staffers, which was released by the hackers earlier this month.
The Reload spoke with several of those whose personal information was released in the hack. They all confirmed the authenticity of their exposed data and said they had not been made aware of it being leaked by the NRA.
“They are 100 percent authentic,” one source said of the personal details contained in one of the documents. The source confirmed the NRA had not contacted them about the situation.
“Not a peep,” the source said. “It’s ridiculous that they haven’t [informed me]. But not surprising.”
The NRA did not respond to requests for comment on the latest document dump or the authenticity of the documents. It did not answer whether it considered the hack contained or if it had reached out to current and former staff affected by it.
The Reload isn’t linking to the records for what should be obvious reasons.
In addition to the personal information, there were hundreds of documents related to things like the organization’s finance. While not all of the documents have been verified due to the sheer number of them, none appear to be fake so far, which isn’t good for the NRA.
Currently, the organization is under fire from so many directions that it’s difficult to keep up. Many in the Second Amendment community are upset over allegations of financial mismanagement by NRA leadership. In the anti-Second Amendment camp, their complaints are pretty much the usual stuff you always hear about from them.
Now they’re being targeted by a notorious group of Russian cybercriminals, the leader of which reportedly has ties to Russian intelligence.
Yes, I’m partial to the idea that the NRA was targeted in an effort to create division here in the United States since that’s something Russia loves to see.
Then couple that with releasing personal information for people who work there which is likely to make some reconsider working there and you’ve got an attack that’s likely to hit one of the most powerful political organizations in the nation and make things interesting for them. And I mean “interesting” in the Chinese proverb sense of the word.
Of course, that’s just speculation on my part.
Regardless, this doesn’t bode well for the NRA or its staffers.