Hacker Gives Out Romney’s Email Password

Mitt Romney faces potential privacy threat after a hacker compromises his email account.

With the GOP nomination secured and support to be gathered before November, you’d figure Mitt Romney has enough to worry about. But now he can add computer security to his anxieties. An anonymous tip to Gawker recently proved that hackers wait for no man – or woman, for that matter, if you remember Sarah Palin’s run in with a Yahoo email hacker during her 2008 presidential campaign or her Facebook hijacking incident in 2010.

Although the Romney hacker supposedly changed the password to the candidate’s Hotmail and Dropbox accounts and handed it over to Gawker, the website reported it had not attempted to open the accounts. The jury is still out on whether Romney’s accounts were compromised, but the candidate’s campaign is taking the threat seriously and conducting a thorough investigation of the claim.

“The proper authorities are investigating this crime, and we will have no further comment on it,” Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told Yahoo News in a statement.

The hacker claimed to have used Hotmail’s password recovery feature. In an email to Gawker, the self-proclaimed cyber crook stated, “I hacked in after finding the answer to the security question what is your favorite pet?” The potential hacker also made sure to let Gawker know he or she has no connection with hacktivist group Anonymous and had never done this kind of thing before.

While the claims may not be true, the situation sends a good security lesson to the rest of us: If you use a password security question, it might be a good idea to use an answer that isn’t readily available on Wikipedia. You may also want to avoid using some of the most common passwords, which include: “password,” “123456,” and “iloveyou,” according to a TIME article.

It remains to be seen whether Romney’s accounts were actually hacked or not, so we’re curious what you think. Is the hacker just trying to stir up trouble, or could Romney’s accounts be compromised? Does this news change your opinion of him at all?

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.