The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a cyber attack on the congressional campaign of a Democratic candidate in California, according to three people close to the campaign. The hackers successfully infiltrated the election campaign computer of David Min, a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives who was later defeated in the June primary for California’s 45th Congressional district. The incident, which has not been previously reported, follows an article in Rolling Stone earlier this week that the FBI has also been investigating a cyber attack against Hans Keirstead, a California Democrat. He was defeated in a primary in the 48th Congressional district, neighboring Min’s. Paige Hutchinson, Min’s former campaign manager, declined to comment. An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau cannot confirm or deny an investigation.
While both Min and Keirstead later lost to other primary challengers from their own party, the two closely-watched races are considered critical, competitive battlegrounds as the Democrats seek to win back Congress from Republicans in November.
It is unclear who was behind the attack against Min’s campaign, why it was carried out, and what the hackers did with any information they obtained. But details of the hack, described to Reuters by people with direct knowledge of the case, highlight the concerns of national security experts who fear that campaigns are woefully unprotected as the November mid-term elections approach.