Feeds

Palin claims webmail hack disrupted GOP campaign

Yes, that was the problem, Sarah

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Sarah Palin has described the hack of her webmail account as the "most disruptive" event in her campaign to become US vice president last year.

Palin singles out the hack into her Yahoo! web account as "the most disruptive and discouraging" incident in the presidential campaign in her new book Going Rogue: An American Life, leaving in the dust other issues that blighted her GOP campaign with John McCain such as controversies around her daughter Bristol's pregnancy and her inability to handle questions about foreign policy.

The compromise of her personal webmail account in September 2008 "created paralysis" by severing easy communication with her "Alaska staff", according to the former Alaskan governor. This admission supports claims that the webmail account was used to conduct state business and may therefore aid the defence of the alleged hacker, David Kernell, the son of a Democratic state legislator in Tennessee.

Palin writes how she learned of the hack via a TV report she saw while on the campaign trail in Michigan. She describes her horror at seeing her personal correspondence scrolling across a TV screen.

"I was horrified to realize that millions of people could read my personal messages, including the thoughts of a friend who had written of her heartbreak over her pending divorce," she writes, adding: "What kind of responsible press outfit would broadcast stolen private correspondence?"

The hack exposed the the phone numbers and email account addresses of her children who began receiving "vulgar email threats and phone calls", according to Palin. Messages sent through the account included exchanges with daughter Bristol about her pregnancy, conversations with her husband over their newborn son’s medical problems and farewell wishes to her eldest son, Track, before he was sent overseas on military service.

According to the book, the McCain campaign confiscated the Palin childrens' phones, supposedly leaving her out of touch with her kids, Wired reports

"The incident put tremendous stress on the campaign," Palin writes. "Schmidt and others acted as though they believed scattered reports that my hacked email contained incriminating messages that would 'destroy the McCain campaign'.

"There were no messages, of course, but the episode ratcheted up paranoia and distrust inside the campaign."

An Alaska judge ruled earlier this year that Palin’s use of a personal webmail account was not a violation of Alaskan public record laws, which failed to cover the practice or mandate the use of state email accounts. However, the issue is still significant because lawyers for the alleged hacker claims that the stolen emails were part of the public record, so Palin could have no expectation of privacy.

Palin, a socially conservative right wing Republican, has had little to say on web privacy issues to date. Most recently she's put her political energies into attacking President Barack Obama's proposed healthcare reforms.

The upcoming release of Going Rogue was the cover story of a recent edition of Newsweek, which chose to run a fetching picture of Palin in running costume taken for a sports magazine to illustrate its coverage. Palin criticised the decision as "sexist" via her page on Facebook. Newsweek responded that the picture was the most interesting one it had available. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.