Shortly after Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya held up a placard announcing his campaign’s newest website, Debate2018.mx, during a debate on June 12, the site was overwhelmed by an influx of traffic. Anaya’s campaign said the site — which was to offer evidence of wrongdoing by campaign frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — likely experienced a distributed denial of service attack and that most of the traffic had come from Russia and China. But experts have cast doubt on that version of events and said homegrown cyber activity will likely play a bigger role in Mexico’s election.
Last year, then national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said there were “initial signs” of Russian effort at “subversion and disinformation and propaganda” targeting Mexico’s election using cyber tools.
There have been no clear signs of foreign meddling in Mexico ahead of the July 1 election that will pick some 3,400 office holders at all levels of government. Mexico has said it has not received evidence from the US of such interference, and Russian authorities denied engaging in it. But accusations have continued.