Anonymous Hacks Vice Presidential Candidate

It must be Hacker Day here at Breaking News — as though the Large Hadron Collider being hacked wasn't enough, it has now been revealed that the group known as Anonymous has successfully hacked into the Yahoo email account of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and released at least some of its contents into the wild.

According to reports, the group was successful in accessing the candidate's account around midnight last night. Among the information released were emails to and from aides and political friends, as well as a discussion with Sean Parnell, Alaska's Lieutenant Governor, regarding his Congressional campaign. Also released were screenshots of the inbox, her contact list, and family photographs. A final screenshot included an email reportedly from a member of Anonymous to one of the governor's aides saying that the account's password had been changed to prevent further access by the group. It was not immediately clear whether the screenshots included the new password.

The Alaska governor — who has been under constant fire since being selected as running mate for Sen. John McCain — has been known to use Yahoo accounts to conduct state business, and has received heavy criticism over the privacy and security of doing so. Questions have also been raised about the official accountability involved, as some have accused the candidate of using the accounts to evade laws regarding public records.

In an interesting twist, Palin, while chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, was asked to use her oversight authority to examine the state computer used by a commission member under investigation by the Attorney General. The "mission" — which uncovered emails and other documents which eventually lead to the commissioner's resignation — spawned internet rumors claiming Palin jump-started her career by hacking a co-worker's computer.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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