FBI investigating alleged Perry hacking

October 5, 2009 12:27:20 PM PDT
The FBI confirmed Monday it is investigating whether hackers disrupted a live webcast on Gov. Rick Perry's campaign website last week during a re-election announcement. "The FBI confirms that it is conducting a preliminary inquiry into the possibility that an intentional intrusion was conducted on the governor's computer from out of state," said Erik Vasys, a spokesman for the FBI in San Antonio. "The FBI considers this a hacking event with unknown origin at this time."

The webcast was to have been streamed from a closed event at the San Antonio headquarters of Holt Caterpillar last Tuesday.

About 22,000 people viewed the governor's remarks on the Web site before the attack. But when many users tried to access the speech online, they got a message saying "unable to connect to database server," officials said. Within about an hour, the campaign said it had been the victim of a cyber attack.

Perry had advertised the webcast as a modern way to reach campaign supporters. He seemed relaxed and unaware of the technical problems as he spoke in front of a video camera and a gathering of about 200 people.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that FBI agents specializing in high-tech crimes met with Perry campaign officials on Friday to discuss the incident, according to Republican sources with knowledge of the investigation. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Campaign officials were expected to turn over computer logs and files to the FBI, data that could allow agents to electronically trace the alleged hackers, the Republicans sources said.

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