GOP Presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Govenor Mitt Romney’s HotMail account was hacked using biographical information about the candidate. An anonymous hacker was able to figure out a challenge/response answer to a question about Romney’s favorite animal and reset the password. Romney’s HotMail account came up because of emails while he was Governor that were copied to his hotmail account while he was Governor (a policy no-no) and a hacker decided to crack Romney’s password.
Read more about it here. From the story:
The anonymous hacker, who says he or she is not part of THE Anonymous, told Gawker about breaking into “email@example.com” using the site’s password recovery option.
“[T]he tipster claims to have hacked into it by guessing Romney’s favorite pet in response to a ‘security’ question,” writes Max Read at Gawker. The hacker didn’t actually look at the contents of Romney’s Hotmail, instead sending along the name of Romney’s favorite pet and the new reset password for the account to Gawker and inviting them to take a look. Gawker didn’t take the bait:
“ The tipster didn’t include any screenshots or evidence of what the accounts contained as proof. And although he or she did, as you can see, helpfully supply the new password he or she created for the account, logging in with it to assess the accuracy of the tipster’s claims would put us at some legal jeopardy. So we most certainly did not do that.
via Well, it Looks Like Someone Hacked Into Mitt Romney’s Private Email. Logging into someone else’s account to read their email is illegal, after all. I’m sure the case of David Kernell is still fresh in everyone’s mind. He hacked into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account and was later convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, and a year in custody. While Gawker would be in the legal clear to run the emails if they were leaked to them by a hacker (who would be guilty of a crime), the organization can’t do the hacking itself. Our laws are funny that way.