Political hactivists claiming to belong to the grassroots anti-Scientology movement Anonymous appear to have compromised a private Yahoo e-mail account belonging to Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
On Wednesday, open-source information site Wikileaks posted screenshots of the governor's inbox and of several e-mail message from her email@example.com account obtained from a person affiliating themselves with the Anonymous group, the site stated. The e-mails included messages to Amy McCorkell, a member of the Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and Alaskan Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, according to a report in Wired News. The site credited members of "the activist group 'anonymous'" with the intrusion.
Around 1 pm PST, Wikileaks appeared to have become unreachable for unknown reasons.
"The zip archive made available by Wikileaks contains screen shots of Palins inbox, example emails, address book and two family photos," Wikileaks stated in a post visible on the site before the outage. "The list of correspondence, together with the account name, appears to re-enforce the criticism."
Political hacking is not an uncommon occurrence. In 2004, a report found that two Republican Senate staffers had taken advantage of a misconfigured server used by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to steal at least 4,670 files over a year and a half. In 2006, online activists managed to download a copy of the company's electronic-voting system code and submit it to election officials and security experts for analysis.
In the latest incident, a member of the Anonymous group sent an e-mail to Ivy Frye, a staffer for Palin, saying that the account had been compromised, according to a screenshot posted to Wikileaks.
If you have tips or insights on this topic, please contact SecurityFocus.
Posted by: Robert Lemos