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Democratic candidate says Russians tried hacking website

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Tabitha Isner, the Democratic candidate in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, said Monday that Russian hackers appeared to have made more than a thousand attempts to break into her campaign website last month.

Isner said there were 1,400 attempts to break into the website over two days in July. The attempts were discovered after the web hosting company reported a sudden surge of traffic to the campaign website around the time of the GOP runoff in the district.

“He did some digging and found not just a high level of traffic, but a high level of brute force attacks … The majority of those came from Russian IP addresses,” Isner said.

The reported hacking attempts come after the nation’s intelligence chiefs warned earlier this year that Russia remains interested in disrupting U.S. elections after a multipronged effort to interfere two years ago.

Isner, a minister and business and policy analyst, is challenging Republican Rep. Martha Roby, a four-term incumbent, in the midterm election.

Isner said she has no idea why her campaign was targeted.

“It may just be too that they are just trying to waste my time and give me one more thing I have to worry about,” Isner said. She said the hackers were attempting to log in manually to the site, appearing to just guess at credentials.

The attempts were unsuccessful, but her campaign reported the activity to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Isner said the FBI has been back in touch with her campaign.

“They are going to talk to me about it. I don’t know what they are going to do about it,” Isner said.

Thomas Loftis, a spokesman for the FBI’s Mobile office, said Monday that the FBI cannot confirm the existence or absence of an investigation.

Isner said the DCCC can offer software for encryption of email and messaging, but said her campaign would not be discussing anything “terribly secretive.”

“It’s hard to know what is worth pursuing. We are a relatively small campaign,” Isner said.

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