Yahoo has issued a public apology for an event that occurred at their recent Hack Day in Taiwan. Apparently they hired strippers for the event, two years in a row. The girls did their usual bump and grind all over some poor hackers. Poor guys. While there is a part of us that says, “what about the little girls getting into hacking?” the other part of us says, well, you know what it says. Wow, we’re suddenly feeling the urge to use yahoo for all of our services. How peculiar.
A few days ago a lone individual decided to crack [Governor Sarah Palin]’s private Yahoo! email account. He did this by navigating the password reset procedure. [Gov. Palin]’s birthday was publicly available and Wasilla only had two zip codes to guess. The follow up question “Where did you meet your spouse” required some more research. They met in high school so a few more guesses turned up “Wasilla high” as the answer. The original poster then read every single email only to discover that there really wasn’t anything of interest there. Frustrated, he posted the details to 4chan to let any wonk have at it. /b/ members began posting screenshots of the account, but very little came of it.
One screenshot of her inbox even revealed her daughter Bristol’s cell phone number. While there was no groundbreaking political information revealed, it is important to point out that it appears that Gov. Palin was using this private account to correspond to her assistants about potentially sensitive government information. This security breach should serve as a wake-up call to many public officials by showing how dangerous it can be to have a private e-mail account, especially when a free web-based service such as Yahoo! is used.