The FBI has arrested a man who gave $500 to the campaign of former representative Katie Hill (D., Calif.) in connection with a spree of hacks against Hill’s opponents in the 2018 election.
Arthur Dam, the suspect in question, “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,” according to the complaint.
Hill’s Democratic opponents during the 2018 race, Jess Phoenix and Bryan Caforio, both allegedly had their campaign websites attacked by Dam, whose wife, Kelsey O’Hara, was Hill’s fundraiser during the campaign and her district director after she won the race. The complaint states that Caforio’s website was attacked four times over the campaign, resulting in its going offline for a combined 21 hours. The complaint also notes that one of the attacks on Caforio came just an hour before the biggest debate of the primary.
Hill ended up winning the seat by fewer than 3,000 votes. She resigned in October after news that she had been in inappropriate sexual relationships with a male congressional staffer and a female campaign staffer.
“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, which broke the story. “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.”
In its investigation, the FBI looked at the website’s log files and found 46 unique IP addresses that could all be traced to the same Amazon Web Services account, which had been created with the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org,” and was paid for with Dam’s credit card. The Hotmail account also served as the recovery account for Dam’s personal Gmail account.