Feeds

Wikileaked donor list shames US lawmaker

IT pro bares 4,700 names and numbers

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Financial data belonging to more than 4,700 donors of Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman have been leaked to the internet following a breach of his campaign website that also made public the contact details of another 51,000 supporters.

Two Microsoft Excel files containing the supporter information were recently posted on Wikileaks. One file contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, employers, email addresses, and partial credit card numbers of 4,721 people who had donated to Coleman. He's the incumbent US Senator who is still wrangling with comedian and talk-show host Al Franken for one of Minnesota's Senate seats.

Wikileaks, which bills itself as a source for "untraceable mass document leaking," said it published the information to prove once and for all that a 4.3GB database had been leaked from the Coleman campaign's website. Coleman's office has said the campaign became aware of a possible security breach in late January but insisted that no unauthorized parties had accessed any confidential information.

On Wednesday, shortly after Wikileaks published the information, Coleman's office condemned the attack and vowed to work with the US Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies to bring the responsible parties to justice. It also sent donors a letter suggesting the leak may be the work of political opponents. Interestingly, it made no reference to this report from The Minnesota Independent.

The story details the discovery in late January of an IT professional named Adria Richards, who says she was shocked to fine the database at normcoleman.com was wide open after she accessed the site using its IP address rather than its domain name. She left this screenshot to document her find.

"All you needed was a web browser," she told the paper. "It's like I walked over to Norm Coleman's house and saw his door was open, took a photo of the open door, and posted it on the internet."

The paper reported it spoke to a separate individual who claimed to have downloaded the database.

If confirmed, the claims could have serious consequences for the Coleman campaign. Minnesota laws require the prompt disclosure of any breach involving credit card numbers, security codes, or other sensitive information. The accessing of a database, especially if it's repeated, is the type of activity that's easily spotted in logs. Coleman aides told the Associated Press they are confident they have complied with the notification laws.

Even so, the breach comes at a particularly perilous time for Coleman. His lawsuit challenging Franken's 225-vote victory could be costly as it enters the appeals phase. Allegations that his donor database has been circulating online for more than a month is a sure way to scare off new contributions, presumably when he'll need them most. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.