by Dell Cameron
August 7, 2017
A senior US official has admitted to being the source behind a claim that the FCC was “hacked” in 2014 during the net neutrality debate. Internally, however, the agency’s security team had assessed there was no evidence of a malicious intrusion.
Dr. David Bray, who was the FCC’s chief information officer until last month, spoke privately with a reporter at Motherboard roughly a week after the FCC’s public comment website—known as the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS)—locked up after comedian John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, directed his audience to flood the FCC with comments supporting net neutrality. Bray told the reporter that the agency had been the target of a “malicious attack.”
Bray was also the first US official to announce that the FCC had been attacked this year, too, after Oliver asked his audience once again to submit pro-net neutrality comments using the ECFS. Afterwards, the system became inaccessible on and off for roughly eight hours beginning the night of May 7, 2017. The FCC’s decision to withhold detailed analysis of the attack has prompted skepticism from reporters and the public at large.