A bot hacked into the online campaign news feed of Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) and created dozens of hilariously off-topic headlines like “Facts about Unicorn,” “Demonic Attacks Real,” and “Your boyfriend is loved by you,” before staff realized the intrusion and changed the password.
“This is a pretty standard spam bot putting news on the news feed. I find some of the headlines funny myself,” said Johnson’s spokesperson, Matt Dole. “I want to differentiate between this, Hillary’s emails, Facebook and the Russians. This was not the donor site.”
Dole said donors are housed on a different server and no private information was compromised. About 30 headlines showed up two weeks ago after the campaign switched to a new website vendor and didn’t change the temporary password. The “news” items have since been deleted, but are still online in cache form (screenshot below).
The humorous headlines top press releases that are mostly gibberish and have nothing to do with the subject matter. Grammar in the posts suggests that the bots were created in a foreign country.
For example, “Your boyfriend is loved by you” went on to say: “The introduction is only an general outline of junk you may discuss within the body or your essay. The creating part within the overall IELTS is again based on real-life scenarios. Studies have proven that exercising the head is great system to maintain the human brain healthier.”
And “Demonic Attacks Real” had nothing to say about demons: “The essays may protect every prospective issue below sunlight. Do you really need to get papers essays on the web. Each of the illustrative composition subjects have their particular unique article subjects.”
Other headlines included, “A short history of the greasers,” “The liver has two areas one is appropriate lobe as well as other is lobe,” and “Three regulations for applying commas are addressed here.”
Johnson is a conservative seeking his fifth term and is expected to win a race against three Democratic opponents who have not held state or federal office. He has been a stalwart in regulatory reform and led the pushback against President Obama’s war on coal.
Dole said Johnson took the intrusion in stride.
“Members of Congress have pretty easygoing personalities about these types of things, they know it happens and he wasn’t mad about it. But he doesn’t believe in unicorns,” Dole said.