The Democratic National Committee claims that on Wednesday, a technical glitch occurred in the Democratic party’s voter data software. The glitch allowed for the firewall between the Sanders campaign and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to break down. While this break down was occurring, at least four staffers viewed Clinton’s voter information, constituting a violation of her campaign’s private data.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, admitted that a staffer had viewed the information, but also blamed the vendor of the firewall software hired by the Democratic National Committee for the glitch that enabled their access of the data. Weaver also announced that a Sanders staffer had been fired over the issue.
The DNC responded its discovery by shutting of Sanders’ access to the strategically crucial list of likely Democratic voters. This list has been maintained by the DNC for years. It rents it to national and state campaigns as a starting point from which they can add their own proprietary information as they find it.
NGP VAN is the vendor that handles this master list and confirmed that the data breach occurred on Wednesday while a patch was being applied to the company’s firewall software. NGP VAN chief Stu Trevelyan said that a full audit will be conducted to see what proprietary information was seen by who at the time of the breach.
The DNC has reacted to the breach by informing the Sanders campaign that it cannot have access to the data again unless it provides an explanation of what happened as well as an assurance that all data collected regarding Hillary Clinton has been destroyed.
According to Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs, four Sanders campaign staffers accessed the data, three of which were following the orders of their boss Josh Uretsky. Uretsky has since been fired.
This morning Uretsky informed CNN that he and others on the campaign discovered the software glitch on Wesnesday and probed the system to discover the extent of their own data’s exposure. He claimed that he had not attempted to take Clinton’s information but he did take responsibility for the situation.
“We investigated it for a short period of time to see the scope of the Sanders campaign’s exposure and then the breach was shut presumably by the vendor,” he explained. “We did not gain any material benefit.”
According to Weaver, the Sanders campaign never downloaded or printed any of the data, meaning it is no longer in possession of any proprietary information. He blamed the NGP VAN for the glitch and the DNC for hiring the vendor. He also claims that this isn’t the first time that the vendor has dropped the firewall between various Democratic candidates’ data.
The DNC will likely commence an outside audit in order to investigate how the incident occurred and if any data was inappropriately seen
“The DNC places a high priority on maintaining the security of ours system and protecting the data on it,” explained DNC spokesan Luis Miranda. “We are working with our campaigns and the vendor to have full clarity on the extent of the breach, ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again, and to enable our campaigns to continue to engage voters on the issues that matter most to them and their families.”
The Clinton campaign has declined to comment.