Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin's Email Hacking A Hoax?

Supposedly one of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account has hacked and several screen shots of her email posted to WikiLeaks.

The "Cracked", yes it is called cracking not hacking, email account is supposedly a previously unknown (or at least unreported) account of would be VP Sarah Palin. The account reportedly contains private emails sent to and from various personal contacts. Some of which sources are now confirming are real emails.

The story originally spread from 4Chan and began spreading like wildfire through sites such as Digg and The media frenzy has spread to the The Associated Press, PC Magazine and others providing at least a little more credibility to the story.

The would be "cracker" has yet to be named although Wikileaks and others are associating him/her with a group of like minded individuals referred to as the Anonymous Group. So far there is no known connection, nor does there appear to be. A user "Anoncrack" originally posted screen shots to photobucket, however the account and images were quickly removed.

So is it a Hoax?

Personally when I saw the email address and screen shots I though "hoax" right away. We see no screen shots that actually show the login nor do they show the account name anywhere. Yes we see some supposed email headers with the account name however those are easily faked. In fact the screen shots themselves could easily be photoshoped. A scan of put's profile update date at 04/05/2008 (I personally never saw the profile)

So this raises the questions; is that really Palin's email account and was it really hacked?

As Godzilla8NJ posted on "I am having a hard time believing that this is all based in fact. I mean come on, a yahoo! toolbar? Steam? And to cap it off..... XP? I mean seriously...." Several more Digg users have voiced similar opinions.

One person whose e-mail to Palin apparently was among those disclosed, Amy B. McCorkell, declined to discuss her correspondence. "I do not know anything about it," McCorkell said. "I'm not giving you any comment." reportedly has said McCorkell later confirmed that she did send the e-mail to Palin however we have yet to see any real confirmation.

The McCain campaign released a statement stating, "This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them."

But again we have no real confirmation. Both the email accounts in question, and as well as the profiles associated with the accounts have been removed and the Secret Service has been contacting news sites such as the The Associated Press asking for copies of the leaked e-mails.

Personally I think the screen shots alone show very little. We see no header information on the emails, no actual log-in information and really nothing of significance. The anonymous cracker apparently didn't know much about what he was doing, panicked, and released the password via 4chan.

Before anyone that really knew what they were doing and could investigate the account to a better extent a good Samaritan "white knighted" the account by resetting the password thus locking everyone else out with the intention of handing it over to Palin. After mistakenly reposting the new password others trying to log-in began trying to regain control of the account causing a security trap at Yahoo automatically put a 24-hour lockout on the account. Thus keeping anyone else from gaining access.

Until we have actual confirmation from someone in the know that this was really her account or those emails were indeed real I'm claiming BS.

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