Former Clinton Foundation Employee: Hackers Tried to Access Clinton’s Email Server for More Than 2 Years

Melanie Arter | September 13, 2016 | 3:19pm EDT
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Witnesses, from left, Paul Combetta, Platte River Networks, Bill Thornton, Platte River Networks, and Justin Cooper are sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on 'Examining Preservation of State Department Records.' (AP Photo)

( - Former Clinton Foundation staff member Justin Cooper testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that over a period of two and a half years, someone tried to hack Hillary Clinton’s email server through a series of failed log-on attempts, which Cooper thwarted by shutting down the server.

Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) asked Cooper, “On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:57 am … you sent an email to Secretary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedein, explaining that you had to shut down Secretary Clinton’s server due to someone trying to hack it. How many times did you personally have to shut down the server to prevent it from being hacked?”


“Again, it’s the server that contained both Secretary Clinton’s and also President Clinton’s office on there,” said Cooper. “This was a series of failed log-on attempts, which was brought to my attention by an alert we had on the system.

“One of the ways to stop that in the early operations of the server was to shut it off for a period of time so that the attacks would cease. We would then over time develop more sophisticated ways which the direction Mr. Pagliano helped to filter those sorts of failed log-in attempts,” Cooper said, referring to Bryan Pagliano, former senior advisor of Information Resource Management for the State Department, who was subpoenaed to testify at the hearing but did not show up.

“Do you know whether powering down a server is the typical way in the IT community to protect against hacks?” Duncan asked.

“I can’t speak to that,” Cooper replied.

“Do you know what a brute force attack is?” Duncan asked.

“Yes, a brute force attack from my understanding is a series of high frequency failed log-in or attempted log-ins using a variety of usernames and passwords,” Cooper said.

When asked how many “brute force attacks” he observed on Clinton’s server, Cooper said, “I can’t say with any specificity how many happened. They happened with some limited frequency over the period of I’d say the last two and a half years while she was in office, but we had developed systems to tamper these down.”

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