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Mexico campaign site reports cyber attack, blames rival

A Mexican political opposition party claims that its official website has been targeted with a cyber attack, less than three weeks before the presidential election in Mexico.

According to Press TV, the National Action Party (PAN) announced the news in a statement on Wednesday, saying the website — critical of leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) — has been targeted likely by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attack on Tuesday night.

It further claimed that much of the traffic to the site nominally streams from Russia and China.

“On this website, 185,000 visits were registered within 15 minutes, with the attacks coming mainly from Russia and China,” said the PAN, whose candidate in the July 1 vote is Ricardo Anaya, citing information from web security firm Cloudflare and Google Analytics.

Cloudflare merely said in a statement that its clients, including the PAN’s website, can typically reach data revealing the locations of site visitors.

The PAN’s website crashed during the televised debate shortly after Anaya brandished a black-and-white placard with the site’s address. It remained down for several hours.

Furthermore, Damian Zepeda, the PAN’s Secretary, directly accused Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, of orchestrating the purported attack by using fake “robot” accounts.

“The AMLO bots have been activated to try to crash the page where there are proofs of contracts worth millions given to AMLO’s friend,” he tweeted, referring to an allegation of favoritism against Lopez Obrador.

An official with Lopez Obrador’s campaign later rejected Zepeda’s allegations against AMLO, saying they didn’t use the so-called bots for the alleged attack.

Anaya, second in most polls, said at the debate that the PAN’s website would offer purported evidence that Lopez Obrador had awarded contracts without public tenders during his tenure as the mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2005.

Anya specifically brandished documents at the round table debate allegedly showing that the leftist candidate had awarded government contracts to Jose Maria Rioboo, a construction mogul, without a competitive bidding process.

However, Lopez Obrador, who has already managed to amass a double-digit lead in most polls, denied any wrongdoing. He told reporters on Wednesday that the contracts Rioboo received had not violated any laws whatsoever.