Newsweek Web Exclusive
Nov 5, 2008
The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns were victims
of a sophisticated cyberattack by an unknown "foreign entity," prompting
a federal investigation, NEWSWEEK reports today.
At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected what
they initially thought was a computer virus - a case of "phishing," a
form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or credit-card
numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came
to the campaign with an ominous warning: "You have a problem way bigger
than what you understand," an agent told Obama's team. "You have been
compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your
system." The following day, Obama campaign chief David Plouffe heard
from White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, to the same effect: "You
have a real problem ... and you have to deal with it." The Feds told
Obama's aides in late August that the McCain campaign's computer system
had been similarly compromised. A top McCain official confirmed to
NEWSWEEK that the campaign's computer system had been hacked and that
the FBI had become involved.
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