« Hollywood Control of DVD-Copying at Crossroads | Main | RIAA Decries Attorney-Blogger as 'Vexatious' Litigator »

Group Posts E-Mail Hacked From Palin Account -- Update

By Kim Zetter EmailSeptember 17, 2008 | 11:50:57 AMCategories: Election '08, Hacks and Cracks  

Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's private Yahoo e-mail account was hacked, and some of its contents posted on the internet Wednesday.

The internet griefers known as Anonymous took credit for the intrusion, and screenshots of e-mail messages and photos belonging to the Alaska governor have been published by WikiLeaks. Threat Level has confirmed the authenticity of at least one of the e-mails.

"This is a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of law," Rick Davis, McCain-Palin campaign manager said in a statement. "The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment."

FBI spokesman Brian Hale said, "The FBI is aware of the alleged hacking incident involving Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and is coordinating with the United States Secret Service on the matter."

Palin_560x_2
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was tapped by Senator John McCain to be his vice-presidential running mate.

Photo: Associated Press/Al Grillo

The cache of stolen data contains five screenshots from Palin's account, including the text of an e-mail exchange with Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell about his campaign for Congress.

Another screenshot shows Palin's inbox and a third shows the text of an e-mail from Amy McCorkell, whom Palin appointed to the Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 2007.

The e-mail, a message of support to Palin, tells her not to let negative press get to her and asks Palin to pray for McCorkell, who writes that "I need strength to 1. keep employment, 2. not have to choose."

McCorkell, reached at her office, confirmed that she did send the e-mail to Palin. McCorkell later called and said the FBI has been in touch with her about this investigation.

A fourth screenshot shows an e-mail sent to Ivy Frye, a Palin aide, from someone claiming to belong to the group Anonymous advising that the person has changed the password to Palin's Yahoo account to prevent other members of Anonymous from accessing it again. The e-mail includes the new password.

The data posted by WikiLeaks also includes a list of Palin's e-mail contacts and two photos of her children.

Palin has come under fire for using private e-mail accounts to conduct state business. Critics allege that she uses the account to get around public records laws, as the Bush administration has also been charged with doing.

An index of the e-mails in her inbox, which includes sender, subject line and date sent, indicates that Palin received numerous e-mails from her aides in the governor's office, some of which could be work-related.

An e-mail from her press secretary, Meghan Stapleton, indicates the message is about the "Motor Fuel Tax Suspension".

The subject line of an e-mail from Randall Ruaro, her deputy chief of staff reads, "Draft letter to Governor Schwarzenegger." Another one from Ruaro says, "Please approve" and another one is about "Court of Appeals Nominations."

Other e-mails from Ruaro indicate they're about employee and budget issues for the DPS. DPS is how Alaska refers to its Department of Public Safety.

Palin's chief of staff, Michael Nizich, sent her an e-mail August 22 with the subject line, "Using Royalty Oil to Lower the Cost of Fuel for Alaskans." The subject line of another e-mail from Nizich reads "CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter."

E-mails from the governor's scheduler, Janice Mason, indicate that they're about Palin's schedule for the week of August 10.

WikiLeaks said in a press release sent to reporters that Anonymous gained access to Palin's e-mail account around midnight Tuesday.

(Updated with reactions from the McCain campaign and the FBI, as well as new information about e-mails that indicate Palin used the account for official government work.)

 

See also:


See more Threat Level
Kevin Poulsen |
David Kravets | |
Kim Zetter |
Ryan Singel |



* : Tech News, Gadget Reviews, and Special Offers - all delivered to your mobile device.

syndication feed Add to your favorite feed reader. Find more Wired.com feeds, including web-based news reader feeds, here.