Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin E-Mail Hacker Linked To Chicago Web Server

The operator of Ctunnel.com, Gabriel Ramuglia, believes the person who hacked into Gov. Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account and exposed its content to the world, including cell phone numbers of family members and personal family photos, used his proxy service. "Usually, this sort of thing would be hard to track down because it's Yahoo email, and a lot of people use my service for that," Ramuglia told El Reg in a phone interview. "Since they were dumb enough to post a full screenshot that showed most of the [Ctunnel.com] URL, I should be able to find that in my log." The FBI and the Secret Service are coordinating an investigation to track down the hacker.

Frequently this year, anti-Obama bloggers have alleged that pro-Obama forces have engaged in cyber terrorism efforts to discredit them. There has been strong suspicion that the Obama campaign uses people working for major IP providers to snoop for information on anti-Obama persons, presumably without the consent of their employer. Earlier this year, the Obama campaign tried to blame Republicans for snooping in Sen. Obama's passport file at the State Department. It later turned out that the person guilty of doing the snooping was a contract worker for a company with close ties to the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign is knee deep in the effort to stoke the so-called "Troopergate" scandal in Alaska to discredit Palin. Several key operatives for Obama in Alaska are spear-heading that investigation. Getting access to Palin's personal e-mail account may have been part of broader effort to destroy her, as if the Democrats and the media haven't already been doing enough to destroy this woman.

3 comments:

bobisimo said...

Jesus. The password change was allowed if you knew her zip code or her birth date? And the user name wasn't obscured in any way?

This isn't anything fancy. There was no need for Obama and his team to fund this kind of effort; *I* could have "hacked" her account.

I feel badly for her, but any prominent public figure with that minimal amount of attention on security has to know that they are at risk. Hell, more than at risk.

This is why George Bush isn't allowed an e-mail. And now, for better or worse, she's learned that lesson.

spooknp said...

bobisimo,

So what you are saying is that the security is so lax, that anything in anyone's e-mail account could be fraud in and of itself. So any damning e-mails said to have come from her could easily have come from _anyone_, due to the lax security. That is exactly how I would spin it. Security with e-mail is so lax, that unless I see a video of her typing the e-mail, no one can say 100% it was her.

bobisimo said...

-- ... security is so lax, that anything in anyone's e-mail account could be fraud in and of itself --

Yes, definitely. If you wanted into my account and knew *anything* about me, you could get into my e-mail. Likewise, we all know a fair bit about Palin - at least enough to figure out her zip code and probably her birthday, too. And if we know that, we're in.

No one is safe unless they understand the process of security questions and adjust those questions and answers accordingly.

As for your idea of a defense for her, depending on what was in the e-mail she could certainly make it. The more personal family photo attachments and so forth that were in there, though, the more *likely* you could infer it was her account. But yeah, in a general sense, I think you're right and that argument could be made.

However, for this specific case, my understanding is she already confirmed it was her account and that it was just recently, temporarily, hijacked. If any e-mails came outside the time period that her account was hijacked, she'd find it difficult to argue that someone put those there.