FBI probing cyberattack targeting second California Democrat: report

FBI probing cyberattack targeting second California Democrat: report
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The FBI has reportedly launched an investigation into a cyberattack targeting a second Democratic congressional candidate in California.

Reuters reported Friday that David Min, who ran for the seat in California’s 45th congressional district but was defeated in the state's primaries last month, had his election campaign computer targeted by hackers. The attempt was successful, according to Reuters.

Min’s former campaign manager, Paige Hutchinson, declined to comment to the news outlet and an FBI spokeswoman told The Hill that the agency cannot confirm or deny an investigation.

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It is the second reported cyberattack focused on a Democratic congressional candidate in California that has come to light in the past week after Rolling Stone reported that Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead also faced cyberattacks during his campaign starting last year.

Keirstead, who also lost his primary bid, was running for the seat currently held by Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study Hillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year's end Bipartisan House group presses Google over China censorship MORE (R-Calif.). Kierstead's former campaign manager said that they did not believe the hacks impacted the election results.

Reuters noted that it is unknown who was behind the cyberattack on Min’s device or what was done with any information obtained during the attack.

Min’s campaign in March received a notice from the manager of the space they rented in Irvine, Calif., saying the internet provider had found unusual activity that could be a sign of a cyberattack.

Reuters reported that the campaign sought help from software developers who sat nearby, who found that the computers of Min’s campaign manager and finance director were infected with software that tracked and transmitted their keystrokes.

The campaign reported the hack to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which in turn notified the FBI.

Federal investigators took the computers and interviewed the campaign staff, according to Reuters.

The wire service noted that the hack on Min’s computer highlights the limited cybersecurity resources available to candidates, particularly those on smaller campaigns.

“The DCCC’s mission is to elect Democrats to Congress, and we spend the vast majority of our limited resources to do that,” a DCCC aide told Reuters. “Despite that, the DCCC has gone far outside the scope of its mission to protect the committee and help campaigns protect themselves when it comes to cybersecurity.”

Election security has risen to prominence in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, with federal intelligence officials warning that foreign actors such as Russia could seek to meddle in the 2018 midterms.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE last month indicted 12 Russian military officers in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).