Archive for Friday, September 19, 2008

Hacker impersonated Palin to get Yahoo e-mail password

September 19, 2008

Advertisement

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

— Details emerged Thursday behind the break-in of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's e-mail account, including a first-hand account suggesting it was vulnerable because a hacker was able to impersonate her online to obtain her password.

The hacker guessed that Alaska's governor had met her husband in high school, and knew Palin's date of birth and home ZIP code. Using those details, the hacker tricked Yahoo Inc.'s service into assigning a new password, "popcorn," for Palin's e-mail account, according to a chronology of the crime published on the Web site where the hacking was first revealed.

The FBI and Secret Service launched a formal investigation Wednesday. Yahoo declined to comment Thursday on details of the investigation, citing Palin's privacy and the sensitivity of such investigations.

The person who claimed responsibility for the break-in did not respond Thursday to an e-mail inquiry from The Associated Press.

"i am the lurker who did it, and i would like to tell the story," the person wrote in the account, which circulated on the Internet. What started as a prank was cut short because of panic over the possibility the FBI might investigate, the hacker wrote.

Investigators were waiting to speak with Gabriel Ramuglia of Athens, Ga., who operates an Internet anonymity service used by the hacker. Ramuglia told the AP on Thursday he was reviewing his own logs and promised to turn over any helpful information to authorities because the hacker violated rules against using the anonymity service for illegal activities.

"If you're doing something illegal and causing me issues by doing this, I'm willing to cooperate," Ramuglia said. "Obviously this is the most high profile situation I've dealt with."

The break-in of Palin's private account is especially significant because Palin sometimes uses nongovernment e-mail to conduct state business. Previously disclosed e-mails indicate her administration embraced Yahoo accounts as an alternative to government e-mail, which could possibly be released to the public under Alaska's Open Records Act.

At the time, critics of Palin's administration were poring over official e-mails they had obtained from the governor's office looking for evidence of improper political activity.

Comments

Chris Ogle 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't think anything was in the personal e-mail that would be of interest. The hacker was an idiot, and will most likely go to jail. He wanted attention, and he is getting it.

igby 6 years, 8 months ago

Popcorngate is coming. Hope it was one of Obama's or Howard Dean's, staffers. Lol.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

B73H!ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!*okay, reports this was son of a demorat tn politician! this is the modern DailyKos-controlled demorat party! you see, you don't have any news "hacker broke into Barry Obama's personal e-mail! and, who'd want to look at "Jawbone Joe's he'd talk the paint off a post! please note the slant of this left-biased article in the ending! AP panting after a scandal ...there's just gotta be a scandal here! if it were the junior senator from IL, they'd be all up inanger and insult. probably call the hacker racist for doing it too!

kidicarus 6 years, 8 months ago

MaryKate - What you posted were my first thoughts exactly. But then i started thinking about different scenarios, and began questioning myself. Say if, for instance, we found out that someone from John McCain's campaign broke into Barack Obama's home to steal personal documents, would it be more than robbery? Would we demand an investigation? I realize that here there is no indication that any campaign was involved in the hacking, but it at least deserves a look. I say this because if the tables were turned, I would expect an investigation.

mightyquin 6 years, 8 months ago

"innocent hackers" isn't that an oxymoron?

Confrontation 6 years, 8 months ago

Does the FBI and Secret Service get involved in all of these types of cases, or do they only waste money when Bimbo Palin is involved?

OzChicklet 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the hacker tried to hack into McCain's, Palin's, Obama's, and Biden's personal email accounts. Oh, we can scratch hacking into McCain's email account...he doesn't use email. Of the other three, maybe Palin's was the only one that could be hacked because she doesn't know the first thing about strong passwords or the need for government business to be conducted through proper channels. Maybe there are other things she doesn't know the first thing about. Poor little Sarah...everyone picks on her...

beatrice 6 years, 8 months ago

Tom, I thought Palin was the Chosen One. Obama is the elected one. He was elected by Democrats to represent his party in the coming election. Palin, on the other hand, was Chosen by that guy she is running with. As the Chosen One, you would think she would know better than to use her personal e-mail account for government business. What is she trying to hide? Maybe whats his name should have chosen a better One. Yep, she looked like she might be something helpful there for a little while for the Republicans, but as more and more comes out -- per diem for staying home, her taxes, her family's refusal to cooperate with the investigation, the investigation, the lack of knowledge of important issues, the raising of taxes and leaving her town in debt, the earmarks, the being for the bridge before she was against it, the charging rape victims for their rape kits, the medieval views on abortion, the being for government oversight and against it in the same speach, and on and on -- the more it looks like the straight-talking express is heading up a hill and running out of gas. Yippee!!Obama / Biden 2008!!!

kidicarus 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm inclined to agree with Madmike on this one. I think it is inapprorpiate for Sarah Palin to use personal email to conduct state business. It looks fishy, whether there is anything there or not. That being said, hacking is illegal and if for political purposes, it should be investigated. If there were concerns that Palin was using her personal email for government business, there are appropriate (legal) channels to address those concerns. I lean towards Obama and probably fall on the left (at least as far as social issues are concerned. However, I agree that libs would be very upset if it was found out that a Republican congressman's son had hacked into his personal email account.

MaryKatesPillStash 6 years, 8 months ago

How is hacking for "political purposes" different than hacking for personal reasons? How can you prove that the hacker was doing it for political purposes? Maybe he had a crush on the alsaska disasta and wanted to see her juicy e-mails?Come on. Someone hacking into Palin's e-mail is NO DIFFERENT than me hacking into my friend's e-mail account to send embarrassing e-mails. No different at all. Haul me away.

BuffyloGal 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow the NYT is people. Garrison Keillor? Seriously? Who would care?

dandelion 6 years, 8 months ago

kidicarus (Anonymous) says:I'm inclined to agree with Madmike on this one. I think it is inapprorpiate for Sarah Palin to use personal email to conduct state business. It looks fishy, whether there is anything there or not. That being said, hacking is illegal and if for political purposes, it should be investigated. If there were concerns that Palin was using her personal email for government business, there are appropriate (legal) channels to address those concerns. I lean towards Obama and probably fall on the left (at least as far as social issues are concerned. However, I agree that libs would be very upset if it was found out that a Republican congressman's son had hacked into his personal email account.Excellent post. I do believe that all hell has broken loose, since the FBI and secret service are investigating. I hope the hacker goes to jail. On the other side, through legal means (and she shouldn't be above the law), it should be researched if Palin is using private emails to hide state business she doesn't want in the open. If she is doing this, she should be charged as well. But the investigation should be done through legal means, not hacking.

kidicarus 6 years, 8 months ago

Madmike, I think confrontation raises an interesting point. If my email or yours were broken into, would the FBI and Secret Service get involved? I completely understand the need if her official government email addy were broken into, but this was a yahoo account. And I'n honestly just asking - I see the points raised by both sides and was curious about your thoughts.

maxcrabb 6 years, 8 months ago

Do they really have to keep calling this a "hacker" job..?This is closer to guesswork than actual manipulation of computer code. The articles says the guy just went through and did all the "I forgot my password" questions, and then accessed the account after getting them right.Quote-"The hacker guessed that Alaska's governor had met her husband in high school, and knew Palin's date of birth and home ZIP code. Using those details, the hacker tricked Yahoo Inc.'s service into assigning a new password, "popcorn," for Palin's e-mail account,"This isn't difficult stuff. Any of you could do it with an internet connection and free time.

1029 6 years, 8 months ago

Being that I have no direction in life and barely managed to make it through college after transferring schools five times, I think I'm going to run for mayor of my small home town. Hopefully only 32.7% of registered voters will even bother to vote and those that do vote will vote for me because they remember me from when I brought recognition to their town by winning a high school state basketball championship. Then, after 909 votes propels me to victory, I will be mayor! And then maybe someday I can run for governor! Hopefully only 51% of registered voters will even bother to vote for governor. As a former runner-up in the state's beauty pageant, I'll be a shoo-in if I run as a republican in a 5-way race! This sounds like a totally awesome idea!

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

oh almost forgot: Madmike, great post. indeed, if somebody hacked into jawbone joe's e-mail [who'd want to?] there'd be all hell to pay. and wow if somebody did that to Barry H. Obama [remember never say his middle name or you'll be labeled a racist], you'd think the explosion of outrage by the obamamedia would equal the kennedy assassination, protests against the iraq war, and claims that cheney was on the take through halliburton, all squeezed into one! and, I'm lookin' for that Aggie apology! really, I'm lookin'!

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 8 months ago

"Last night, it was reported that the son of a Tennessee demoncrat was a persaon of interest. Very interesting!"Tennessee? Hmmm. It's probably one of Al Gore's kids. Since their dad invented the internet they probably know all sorts of loopholes to access information online.

OzChicklet 6 years, 8 months ago

Tom, I don't think state business in a personal email account would be considered bedtime reading material. Get real, ya far out righties!!!

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

state by state, turning blue to Red! its not us being desperate! and Bea, you know darned well "the chosen One" refers to the junior senator from Illinois' status as a godlike figure who will reverse the waters and by his very presence peace shall break out!"Barack was a community organizer, just like Jesus was" spoken on the floor of the u.s. House of representatives by a demorat rep from oooops, TN again! what's so stinky in TN?poor Aggie,you really should quit questioning what I present on here, because each time you do, you get egg on your face! LOL!indeed Tom, some of the selfsame yahoos above whine about the patriot act are cheering this invasion of Sarah's privacy! makes their original noise about "privacy" sound very hollow! turns out she wasn't doing state biz in private e-mail. but as I pointed out, the AP was sure trying to sniff up a scandal! and yes, McCain doesn't use e-mail you ignorant rube! did you forget your messiah got egg all over his hallowed face for that ad when it turned out McCain doesn't do e-mail because of a war wound? you ignorant self-centered amoral idiots! question a man like that on his character? your guy, zero executive experience, pals around with unrepentant terrorist buddies, racists, and while he's at it, JJohnson who profited from the mortgage collapse, now that's really saying something! barry obama: least qualified candidate to be nominated by a major party for the presidency in at least 100 years. Sarah has much more executive experience than does the junior senator from Illinois, who started running after he was in the senate for 143 days! then, there's jawbone joe, who says forcing people to pay more taxes is patriotic, tells a missouri state legislator to stand up out of his wheelchair! and, he created a new superhero: "barack amerika!" he said, of the junior senator from Illinois, that the presidency doesn't lend itself to on-the-job-training, that Barry H. Obama was not qualified to be president! your own boy said that of your messiah, "the chosen One."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.