Hackers have gained access to US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo account and published some of its contents on the Wikileaks website.
Wikileaks has published several screenshots of Yahoo email messages, email addresses of Palin family members and associates, and other data that hackers obtained from Palin's private account.
The McCain-Palin campaign confirmed the hack. "This is a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of law," the campaign said in a statement. "The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them."
One email message appears to be from Alaska Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, complaining to Palin about an interview by Alaska radio show host Dan Fagan. "Arghhh! He is so inconsistent and purposefully misleading," Palin apparently writes in response.
A hacking group known as Anonymous gained access to Palin's firstname.lastname@example.org account on Tuesday and sent the information to Wikileaks, which acts as an anonymous clearinghouse for leaked documents.
"Governor Palin has come under criticism for using private email accounts to conduct government business and in the process avoid transparency laws," Wikileaks wrote in a note accompanying the material. "The list of correspondence, together with the account name, appears to re-enforce the criticism."
There are several ways that attackers could have gained access to this account, said Adam O’Donnell, director of emerging technologies with email security vendor CloudmarkO'Donnell said. They could have simply guessed her password, or had enough of her personal information to trick Yahoo into resetting the password. A more sophisticated attacker might have somehow installed key-logging software on Palin's computer or obtained the information though a phishing attack, he said.