- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, had his congressional campaign website hacked with less than a month until the November midterm elections.

The website for the congressman’s re-election campaign, PeteKing.com, was compromised over the weekend, he told reporters Monday.

“The good news is that we immediately contacted our service provider and security company and the site has been cleaned and all malware removed,” Mr. King said in a news release, Newsday first reported.

“Most importantly I can assure all supporters and contributors that no personal or financial data were stored on the website’s server and could not have been compromised,” the congressman continued. “This is another demonstration of the constant threat of cyber hacking and the need to counter it immediately.”

An archived version of Mr. King’s campaign site as it appeared on Sunday shows that it was vandalized to tout a patriotic Turkish hacking group known as the Ayyıldız Tim Cyber Army.

Scores of unrelated websites were also altered this week to render similar messages in support of the Ayyıldız Tim Cyber Army, according to archived versions uploaded to Zone-H, a website where hackers share evidence of their defacing, suggesting Mr. King may not have been specifically targeted.

Other websites recently hacked to hype the same Turkish group include a Florida pizzeria chain, an Italian government website and a Halloween costume site, according to versions uploaded to Zone-H this week.

Previous stunts touting the group appeared to have been targeted strikes, however, including a January incident that resulted in hackers reportedly sending a direct message on Twitter to President Trump after gaining unauthorized access to the account of former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren — one of a handful of Twitter users followed by the president.

“I don’t know if it was random,” Mr. King, chair of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told Newsday. “I don’t know if I was being targeted. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence.”

Mr. King added that he notified congressional security officials in case the group was “targeting other members of those committees,” the report said.

Russian hackers set their sights on U.S. targets during the 2016 race, according to federal intelligence and law enforcement officials, and members of the Trump administration have warned that foreign actor stand to similarly meddle in next month’s midterms.

Mr. King, 74, is running in the Nov. 6 contest against Democratic challenger Liuba Grechen Shirley, seeking a 14th term representing the South Shore of Long Island.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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