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Candidate says Russians are monitoring his website

Candidate worried about Russian interference
Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 10:35:00-04

With just days until the Florida primary, a local congressional candidate is worried the Russian government may have its eye on the midterm elections.

David Holden is running against Todd Truax for the Democratic nomination in Congressional District 19.

Holden says his team noticed an increased number of visits to his website were from Russia. A campaign staffer used a program to track the latitude and longitude of the IP addresses.

“It's either someone in the Kremlin, near the Kremlin, or around the Kremlin,” Said Deputy Campaign Manager Chris Raleigh, referring to the Russian Capitol.

"What we've been told by experts is the Russians are just jiggling the handle on our site.  If that door opens they may take a look around,” said Holden.

Holden says his site has not been hacked, but he's worried that if the Russians are monitoring his site, they could be looking at other campaign sites as well.
But a Fort Myers IT expert says there isn't evidence of a smoking gun.

"You can't tell intent from an IP address, because all it is is someone going to a website,” said Greg Scasny, Chief Technology Officer at Cignet, an IT security company.

Scasny says websites are visited all the time from people around the world, but if someone wanted to hack one, they wouldn't be so blatant about it.

"The ability to locate a specific IP address is not accurate enough, there just isn't enough data."

But Holden and his campaign staff aren't taking any chances. They say even the slightest curiosity by the Russians is enough to raise red flags, especially after the 2016 election.

"We know from the last two years, that these attempts have not only occurred, but they've been successful."

Holden says he's informed state and federal elections officials about the Russia website issue.

The FBI is also investigating.