Palin E-Mail Hacker Claims Google Search Helped Find Password - InformationWeek
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9/18/2008
04:55 PM
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Palin E-Mail Hacker Claims Google Search Helped Find Password

Though the posted account is no longer available, some content of the Alaska governor's messages has been republished on several blog sites.

The hacker who broke into Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail account appears to have done so by requesting a password reset and answering the challenge questions with the help of Google and Wikipedia.

According to a purported first-person account of the hack posted on 4chan.org, an online forum, "Rubico," the person claiming responsibility, initiated a password change on Palin's account and then supplied the Alaska governor's birthday and her home ZIP code, with the help of "Wikipedia and Google to find the info."

That left the so-called security question: "Where did you meet your spouse?"

After further Internet searching, "Rubico" entered "Wasilla High" and was allowed to change the account's password.

Though the posted account is no longer available, it has been republished on Michelle Malkin's blog, on Wired News, and elsewhere.

The text supposedly authored by "Rubico" was supplied to Malkin by an unidentified individual who claims to have monitored the 4chan board where the discussion took place.

A determination about the authenticity of this information will fall to law enforcement officials and the legal system, if the case gets that far.

The reproduced account of the hack indicates that "Rubico" posted the changed password and screenshots from Palin's in-box to the 4chan forum. After that, others supposedly copied the information and posted it to Wikileaks and elsewhere before moderators could delete it.

According to Wired News, the handle "Rubico" has been linked by bloggers to a college student in Tennessee, whose father is a Democratic state representative.

The Register reports that Gabriel Ramuglia, the operator of the Ctunnel proxy service presumably used by "Rubico," has been contacted by the FBI and plans to provide the agency with his log files. Because one of the screenshots of Palin's Yahoo account shows part of a Ctunnelled URL, the FBI stands a good chance of figuring out the IP address of the person who took that screen shot from Ramuglia's log files.

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