Nancy Pelosi: DCCC Hacking Brought On 'obscene and sick calls'

CNN/ Newswire | 8/15/2016, 12:54 p.m.
A hacker's release of personal contact information about House Democrats triggered a series of "sick calls, voicemails and text messages," ...
Nancy Pelosi

By Sophie Tatum and Kevin Bohn


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A hacker's release of personal contact information about House Democrats triggered a series of "sick calls, voicemails and text messages," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Saturday.

The California lawmaker was responding to the latest hacking incident, into the House Democratic campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which on Friday night published members' personal cell phone numbers and some private email addresses. The hacker going by "Guccifer 2.0" claimed credit.

"I was in the air flying from Florida to California when the news broke," Pelosi said in a message to Democratic colleagues. "Upon landing, I have received scores of mostly obscene and sick calls, voicemails and text messages. Please be careful not to allow your children or family members to answer your phone or read incoming text messages."

Pelosi also advised House Democrats affected to change their phone numbers, following her lead.

The information was published to a WordPress blog along with log-in materials for subscriptions the DCCC uses.

A phone call was held Saturday evening for members with the House sergeant-at-arms office, and cybersecurity experts who have been investigating the hack.

This is the latest high-profile hack since the release of Democratic National Committee emails that led to the resignation of Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an episode Pelosi called an "electronic Watergate."

One leading Democratic member of Congress told CNN he got some "nasty phone calls" as well as texts and emails following the disclosure of personal information.

The member, who requested anonymity because he didn't want to encourage more negative taunts coming his way, described some of the messages he received as "expletive Democrat" or "expletive Hillary" or "expletive Congress."

Some members of Congress as well as some staff members Saturday quickly changed their phone numbers after the information was made public late Friday.

"It is scary that your privacy can be lost" so quickly, the member said.

Besides members having to endure a barrage of hate messages, they are also being warned to be careful.

"There certainly can be a security threat," the member said.

One major concern are the emails sent to the members or the staff could include website links with malware or phishing attempts to steal identities or financial information. Congressional security officials have warned members and staff not to click on websites they are not familiar with.

There was a phone briefing for members on Saturday evening to answer their questions and give advice, and the hack will also be discussed Tuesday in a regularly scheduled conference call.

"A lot of members are trying to get the word on what is best to do," said the congressman.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.