Politics

Man Linked to Former Rep. Hills Campaign Arrested for Hacking Her Opponents Website

A man who allegedly hacked the website of a congressional contender in Californias 25th District has ties to the Democrat who won the race, Katie Hill, according to an FBI affidavit.

Both of Hills opponents in the 2018 Democratic primary, Jess Phoenix and Bryan Caforio, complained that their websites were disrupted by cyberattacks.

The man responsible for the attacks on Caforio was Arthur Dam, according to a Feb. 19 affidavit by FBI special agent Elliott Weideman.

Dam was arrested on Feb. 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a release.

Dams wife, Kelsey OHara, was fundraising for Hill as her campaign consultant and went on to become a program and research director in Hills congressional office in Palmdale, California.

Hill had the blessing of the Democratic establishment. Former President Barack Obama endorsed her, saying she was “running to take the values of her community to Washington.”

She won the Democratic nomination by less than 3,000 votes and went on to beat the Republican incumbent, Steve Knight, with 54 percent of the vote, outspending him more than 3-to-1.

She resigned in November amid an ethics probe after photos were leaked to the media of her having intimate relations with a former campaign staffer. Hill complained of “cyber exploitation” at the time.

Cyberattacks

As the FBI agent described, Caforios campaign website was targeted four times by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it down for a total of about 21 hours, including on April 28, 2018, right before a live television debate between the candidates. The website remained offline for at least the duration of the debate.

DDoS attacks overload a website with bogus traffic in order to shut it down. The agent found that the computer IP addresses linked to the attacks on Caforio were assigned to a single Amazon Web Services (AWS) account registered with the email address “[email protected]

Dam listed the address as one of the emails on his Apple account and also as his recovery address for his Gmail account. The IP addresses used to access the AWS account were linked to OHaras and Dams home address as well as his workplace address.

The agent went as far as to collect Dams banking records and the geolocation data and browsing history from his Google account, which further corroborated Dams involvement.

“Dam was found to have conducted extensive research on both the Victim and various cyber exploits, malicious toolkits, and cyberRead More – Source

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