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FCW Insider: The story behind Palin's e-mail hack

What happened to Sarah Palin could happen to you.


That is the basic message in an AppScout article that explains how a hacker apparently broke into the Yahoo e-mail account of the vice presidential candidate (and Alaskan governor).


The short version is that the hacker took advantage of the Yahoo password recovery function. Most such systems require users to answer personal questions before providing them with their "forgotten" password. In this case, the perpetrator needed less than an hour to find the answers, thanks I large part to Wikipedia.


"Breaking into Sarah Palin's webmail account was a simple hack--one that required little to no technical expertise," AppScout states. "There is, of course, an important lesson to be learned here for the vice presidential candidate, and hopefully the rest of us can take something away from this as well."


The article provides more technical detail, for those who are so inclined.


Also, a reader commenting on the story offers one tip: When setting up the recovery function, do not provide real answers to the questions. Instead, use nonsense words.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Sep 19, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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