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FBI arrests hacker who interfered with CA election — and he is directly linked to ex-Rep. Katie Hill's campaign

The victim was one of Hill's primary opponents

Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.)/(Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a man for allegedly hacking the campaign website of one of former Rep. Katie Hill's (D-Calif.) rivals in the 2018 primary. The criminal complaint links the accused, Arthur Dam, directly to Hill's campaign, which also employed his wife as a fundraiser.

What are the details?

The Intercept first reported on Dam's arrest, noting that "during the campaign, the websites of Hill's opponents, Democrats Jess Phoenix and Bryan Caforio...were both attacked, though Hill's never was, raising suspicions at the time that Hill's campaign was behind them."

The outlet pointed to Dam's $500 in-kind donation to Hill's campaign for "graphic design and website security consultation." Dam's wife, Kelsey O'Hara, served as Hill's fundraiser during the campaign and was hired as former congresswoman's district director after she took office.

According to the feds, "Dam was found to be connected to the cyber attacks through subscriber information, IP addresses, geolocation history, and open sources, including through his employer and his wife, K.O., who worked for one of the Victim's opponents."

The focus of the investigation was on the damage done to Caforio, who is cited as the victim. Caforio's website was shut down four times, with the most damaging occurring just an hour ahead of the most critical primary debate.

The complaint filed Wednesday further states, "The victim suffered various harms, including a reduction in political donations and campaign visibility, and between approximately $27,000 and $30,000 in expenditures and lost time to respond to, investigate, and mitigate attacks."

Hill went on to win the primary by under 3,000 votes. She ultimately won the general election, but resigned months after taking office following a leak of nude photos and amid allegations that she had a sexual relationship with one of her congressional aides.

The former representative denied that allegation, but admitted to having an "inappropriate" relationship with a female campaign staffer. She later blamed her resignation on right-wing media and "rampant biphobia."

"I'm absolutely shocked and saddened to learn today that Katie Hill's campaign associates hacked my campaign in order to help her advance through the primary, "Caforio told The Intercept. "This should serve as a reminder that Russia is not the only threat to our democracy. There are bad actors on all sides who will do anything for their own personal gain, and we need to come together as Americans to defend our country and hold everyone responsible accountable."

As of this writing, Ms. Hill had not responded to The Intercept's nor The Hill's requests for comment on Dam's arrest.

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