OOPS: Podesta Email Hack Was the Result of a Simple Typo

Via Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/americanprogress/


I can only imagine that Hillary Clinton has had a lot of long days and nights to replay the events of the past year over and over in her mind.

What went wrong?


What could have been done?

Who can she blame? The Russians?

I would blame the fact that she was just an awful candidate. I mean, she lost to Donald Trump, for Pete’s sake!

What we can say is that the leaked emails of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, had a lot to do with it, per some polls, so start there.

A new report reveals that a typo opened up Podesta’s account to be hacked.

Last March, Podesta received an email purportedly from Google saying hackers had tried to infiltrate his Gmail account. When an aide emailed the campaign’s IT staff to ask if the notice was real, Clinton campaign aide Charles Delavan replied that it was “a legitimate email” and that Podesta should “change his password immediately.”

Instead of telling the aide that the email was a threat and that a good response would be to change his password directly through Google’s website, he had inadvertently told the aide to click on the fraudulent email and give the attackers access to the account.

Delavan told the Times he had intended to type “illegitimate,” a typo he still has not forgiven himself for making.

It was a phishing scam, and one that I’m willing to bet most or all of us have seen some variation of, at some point in time. I certainly have.

Most of us, however, know to send those straight to our spam folders.

WikiLeaks got their hands on Podesta’s emails after that – about 10 years worth – and it was all over but the crying, then.

A firm called SecureWorks tracked down the account responsible for the hack in October. It was a Bit.ly account, apparently.


The Bit.ly service shortens web addresses, which can make them easier to share — and less likely to set off malicious website alarms.

SecureWorks found a Bit.ly account being used by hackers containing links to a spate of phishing sites with victim information encoded in the web address.

SecureWorks soon found the email, and Delavan’s response, in the WikiLeaks archive.

The resulting leak of information from that single typo incident – for lack of an “il” –  can be claimed as the impetus for tipping Clinton’s campaign off the edge of the cliff.

She was already massively disliked, and though not as split as the GOP field, which saw 17 candidates (most of them really qualified and likeable) divvying up the vote, Democrats ultimately had to determine if they wanted a candidate with a vagina more than they wanted a Socialist.

Tough call.

That some of the WikiLeaks treasure trove revealed the fix was in so that DNC powers-that-be got another Clinton actually hurt her with the hardcore Bern victims.

It was an innocent mistake that can’t be undone, now.

Expect some government training programs in the near future that spend $25,000 a head to train personnel on internet etiquette, emoji diplomacy, and how to spot phishing accounts.


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