DNC now says earlier attempt to hack voter database an unauthorized phishing 'test'

PHOTO: U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, center, holds a news conference at the Department of Justice, July 13, 2018, in Washington.PlayChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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After saying on Wednesday that it had experienced an attempted hack into its voter database, the Democratic National Committee backtracked late Wednesday night, calling the actions a "test."

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The DNC said in a statement that it now believes a phishing attempt that was part of an unauthorized test on its VoteBuilder system was performed by a third-party.

Earlier, the DNC said it feared it was experiencing an attempted hack on its nationwide voter database. It first appeared as if unknown actors had set up a fake login page to collect usernames and passwords, a party official told ABC News.

Democrats had contacted law enforcement after being notified of the page's existence on Tuesday by LookOut, an online security firm, and DigitalOcean, a cloud-services provider, the party official said.

PHOTO: An undated stock photo of code on a computer. STOCK/Getty Images
An undated stock photo of code on a computer.

No hackers had successfully broken into the party's voter database or accessed any sensitive information, the party official said earlier on Wednesday, after the DNC said it had worked with its service provider to help thwart the suspected attack.

The page used in the potential phishing attempt wasn't actually a hack, the party said it now believes.

"We, along with the partners who reported the site, now believe it was built by a third party as part of a simulated phishing test on VoteBuilder," DNC Chief Security Officer Bob Lord said in a statement. "The test, which mimicked several attributes of actual attacks on the Democratic party's voter file, was not authorized by the DNC, VoteBuilder nor any of our vendors."