Bredesen Campaign Tells FBI It Was Targeted By Cyberthieves | Nashville Public Radio

Bredesen Campaign Tells FBI It Was Targeted By Cyberthieves

Mar 8, 2018

The Senate campaign for Phil Bredesen says it's been targeted in a sophisticated attempt to steal its funds.

In a letter sent Thursday to the FBI, an attorney for the former Tennessee governor says unknown parties tried to trick the campaign into wiring money to a foreign bank account by masquerading in email messages as the Bredesen campaign's media buyer.

Bredesen's attorney says no money was actually transferred, but the campaign is concerned the imposters knew so much about their media plans. The sender posed as a principal at the media buyer's firm and knew that they were on the verge of buying TV air time for the campaign. The would-be cyberthieves even knew what days the ads were supposed to air.

The emails urged the Bredesen campaign to wire money to a foreign bank account so the buy could go forward. But an alert campaign aide noticed discrepancies in the sender's email addresses, so the campaign hired a cyber-security firm, which traced the addresses to an Arizona-based registrar.

The campaign is conducting an internal review and says they're ready to work with investigators.

A spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Bredesen is considered the leading Democratic contender in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican. His campaign has drawn national attention, as Democrats seek to recapture Congress.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is the top GOP candidate in the race.