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Robby Mook warns 'Russia's DNC hack was only the start' in dark op-ed

Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, Robby Mook, warned that Russia's attack on the Democratic National Committee is "only the start" in a dark op-ed published in The New York Times on Tuesday. "Imagine the headlines if, in 2015, Russian agents had leapt out of a van at 2 a.m. in Southeast Washington and broken into the Democratic National Committee offices using sophisticated tools and techniques to steal tens of thousands of documents, including the names and Social Security numbers of donors and employees, and confidential memorandums about campaign strategy for the presidential election," Mook wrote. "The world would have been aghast. It would have been, people would say, worse than Watergate."

But according to Mook, that's almost exactly what happened, although rather than a physical break-in, it was a sophisticated hack. It's just that "most of us don't think of hacking as a crime like breaking and entering. Before the DNC break-in, I thought of hacking as a prank by mischievous tech-savvy people to get revenge," Mook wrote.

It wasn't until I lived through the Russian hackings of Democratic staff members and organizations that I realized how dangerous such an attitude could be.

I saw it firsthand in July, when I was asked about the first wave of stolen documents on ABC's This Week and CNN’s State of the Union. I thought it was a bombshell — Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee! — but my alarm was dismissed by the news media and our opponents as merely campaign spin, feigned distress meant to dodge real questions about how the embarrassing messages might hurt Hillary Clinton's prospects.

This perception has to change. I'm not referring to the DNC incident in particular, but about cybercrimes in general. Unless we realize how vulnerable we are, we are playing into the hands of foreign aggressors like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. [The New York Times]

Read the entire op-ed at The New York Times.