An email newsletter provider with dozens of customers on Capitol Hill has suffered a ransomware attack, the U.S. House of Representatives’ chief administrative officer confirmed Tuesday.
Punchbowl News was first to report that nearly 60 House offices from both parties were affected by an attack on iConstituent, a government-facing platform designed to help government officials reach out to the voting public. While the company is reportedly working with CAO Catherine Szpindor to resolve the issue, sources familiar with the matter told Punchbowl that there’s frustration from House members that want to, well, reach out to their constituents.
“The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data,” Szpindor said in a statement to Punchbowl, noting that the office “is not aware” of any House data being impacted by the breach thus far. The biggest problem, per Punchbowl’s report, is that these House members haven’t been able to access any of their constituent information “for several weeks.”
This attack is just the latest in a series of hacks that have kneecapped major U.S. businesses like the Colonial Pipeline and global meat supplier JBS. Last week, the White House began urging private companies to safeguard themselves against ransomware attacks in an open letter describing how “the private sector has a distinct and key responsibility,” in buffing the country’s cyberattack response.
While iConstituent’s site notes that the company has worked with “hundreds of government offices,” the homepage only features a few endorsements, including one from Pennsylvania Sen. Jay Costa and another from Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas. Gizmodo reached out to both of their offices for comment on the case. Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis (also an iConstituent customer) told Punchbowl that he “understands there is some frustration at the vendor in question here.”