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Governor Palin: Victim of E-Mail Hacker

As easy as one, two, three -- hacker answers three simple questions to gain access to e-mail account.

by / September 18, 2008

On Tuesday September 16, Republican Vice President nominee Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account was hacked. Upon accessing the contents, the individual(s) posted the account address and password online. Included were screen captures of various e-mails including family photos, personal contacts and various other bits of information.

What is most surprising about this attack is the method by which the hacker(s) acquired the information. No high-tech gadget or technical expertise was necessary -- only the Yahoo and Wikipedia Web sites. The hacker simply went to the password reset option on the Yahoo website. There, he or she was prompted with a series of questions: What is your birthday? What is your zip code? Where did you meet your spouse? Forty five minutes on Wikipedia and a little creative thinking provided all the information necessary to answer the questions. After the password was successfully recovered, it could then be reset -- to "popcorn."

These easy steps could have been carried out by almost anyone. Because Palin has been in the spotlight for weeks now, much for her personal information is posted for any and all to see. But the answers to many of the generic security questions provided by e-mail providers such as Yahoo can easily be found with a little research. This breach in security should act as a warning for those who use private e-mail accounts.

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