Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin's Yahoo Account Hacked

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.

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."

The Republican Party hasn't responded to a call for comment, but McCorkell, reached at her office, confirmed that she did send the e-mail to Palin.

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.

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

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