The presidential election cycle in the United States happens every four years or, at least, is scheduled to go on as such. If you have even one of your primary senses intact, you no doubt know that there’s a lot of pomp and circumstance that accompanies this democratic ceremony: stump speeches, debates, torrential amounts of campaign ads, fundraising, baby-holding, gaffe-making, lapel pin-wearing, etc.
Another ritual that might be worth considering for that list of decorum is hacking email accounts of candidates. We the people were treated to the inaugural instance of this four years ago when 4chan hacked then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s email account, and now, in this election year, it appears that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s personal email account is keeping that tradition alive.
An anonymous hacker (notice the lack of upper case punctuation there) is claiming to have successfully accessed Romney’s personal Hotmail (….) account by guessing the answer to the candidate’s security question, “What’s your favorite pet?” (Note: Hotmail doesn’t actually offer your favorite pet as a security question option, but it does have “Name of your first pet” as an option.) The hacker claims to have learned of Romney’s private email address from files released by the Wall Street Journal. After gaining entry to Romney’s account, the hacker changed the password and then proceeded to do the same for Romney’s Dropbox account as well.
After hacking Romney’s Hotmail and Dropbox accounts, the hacker provided the information to Gawker as an anonymous tip. Gawker, in an uncharacteristic display of inhibition, opted not to verify the hackers claims by logging into Romney’s accounts due to the portent of legal trouble that would likely follow. Probably a wise move, really. It’s uncertain if the hacker shared Romney’s account information with any other organization, but if so, Gawker has invited anybody who has come upon materials leaked from either account to share them with the website (at least Gawker hasn’t changed all of its stripes).
For that matter, if anybody comes across content that appears to have been leaked from Romney’s account, feel free to share it with us. Why should Gawker get all the notoriety? Also, anybody wanna take a guess at what Romney’s first pet was?