Palin targeted by hackers for Wikileaks criticism

posted at 6:44 pm on December 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’s not just her and they’re not really hackers — and actually, there’s no evidence that they’re acting at Wikileaks’ behest. Mastercard, Visa, and a few other prominent sites have already been hit, as you’ve no doubt seen on Drudge, but as far as I know no one’s system has been broken into. This is all being done via DDOS attacks, which are designed to knock a site offline by slamming its server with so much traffic that it can’t cope with the load. Evidently that’s what almost happened to SarahPAC, but they managed to head it off.

As for what Palin meant when she said her “personal credit card information” has been attacked, that’s unclear for the moment. Maybe she’s referring to the Mastercard/Visa takedowns?

Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange’s antics,” Palin emailed. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

Palin has criticized Wikileaks founder Assange, writing on Facebook that his “past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?…Assange is not a ‘journalist’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist.’ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.”

I’m not sure how Tapper’s so sure who the culprit is. Wikileaks itself has been DDOS’d a bunch of times, presumably by freelance “hackers,” since the latest document drop. Maybe the London group did hit Palin and Mastercard, or maybe it’s copycats who also support Wikileaks, or maybe it’s freelancers looking to get in on the action for whatever reason. The ‘Net’s becoming a freefire DDOS zone, which makes it hard to keep track of who’s firing each of the bullets. Assuming he’s right, though, I don’t see how Wikileaks benefits from the effort. Sixty percent already think the group has harmed the public interest by revealing diplomatic cables; that number will go up when they’re inevitably blamed, rightly or wrongly, for all the site attacks. Jack Shafer at Slate said yesterday that those verrry shady Swedish sex charges would end up benefiting Assange ultimately because people will sympathize with him and rally to his side. Maybe, but the DDOS wars will achieve the opposite.

One thing they do accomplish, though, is prove that even giant entities can only do so much to defend themselves from dedicated, widely distributed individuals acting in concert. Lesson one in that regard was Wikileaks vs. the State Department and now here’s lesson two. (In fact, the DOJ is still struggling to figure out a way to defend American interests against Wikileaks.) A lot of government agencies and corporate IT departments will be spending more on security next year, no doubt.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Does wikileaks have the thesis? or the passport? or the Pigford files?.. just asking

shar61 on December 9, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Wikileaks will soon publish the transcripts and the long-form from Kenya.

SurferDoc on December 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Surprising they haven’t Hacked Newt, Huck, mitt, Trump, Rove, Krauthammer, guess the terrorists aren’t too afraid of RINOS!

dhunter on December 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

A friend of mine’s opinion on this whole Wikileaks business is, it was bound to happen sooner or later given our digital times.
While Manning stole the info, and Assange posted it online and sent it to news papers who then reposted it, I think the biggest fault lies with those who designed the business rules of the network that contained those secret documents.

Why make so much information available to 3 MILLION users (three million users!!!!!)?

This low ranking 21-22 year old intelligence analyst… also known as “a freakin kid” had access to all these sensitive documents… it’s just mindboggling.

The design of the system was flawed, but in my opinion it was to be expected. It’s part of the American mentality — design a huge, cumbersome and unmanageable system that does everything and reduces the need for people to use their brains (we see this with the TSA quasi-molestation of passengers). Hence there are problems managing data, lots of leaks… I’m surprised that this Wikileaks fiasco hasn’t happened earlier.
As an example, just look at this report: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

The solution is to design small and simplified systems with no bells and no whistles, so that they don’t become clogged and full of noise, so that its target audience can get timely and relevant information, and so that it is SECURE.

This American propensity to design everything big and super complicated and can-do-all systems really misses the point.

Learn from the Israeli experience.

AlexB on December 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Does wikileaks have the thesis? or the passport? or the Pigford files?.. just asking

shar61 on December 9, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Wikileaks will soon publish the transcripts and the long-form from Kenya.

SurferDoc on December 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I think they have copies of his 14 social security numbers and his Kenyan Birth Cert., but those are more valuable NOT PUBLISHED rather as a blackmail tool.

Kinda makes one wonder if there is a reason maybe a President should be vetted. Even though I joke what if it were true, after all it is the seriousness of the charge after all!

dhunter on December 9, 2010 at 11:30 AM

dhunter: I agree. I don’t really give a hoot about where he was born because that horse left the barn with the nomination. I kid above for dramatic effect…but I bet somebody has access to transcripts showing him a C student or college applications claiming foreign student status or the like and only needs the right motivation and belief in immunity to use it.

There are some very interesting discussions going on behind closed doors among Democrats today.

SurferDoc on December 9, 2010 at 11:38 AM

My family is now convinced that this dang Wikileaks deal has spread to the net.

We’re all having trouble today.

AnninCA on December 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM

So you were basically putting words in Palin’s mouth and then looking into the future at what the results could be.

No she called the guy a terrorist in her FB hell read the whole post

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

What is it we do to terrorists? We give the executive branch wide authority and latitude to stop them. Have you been to an airport lately, It hasn’t always been that way. I fear in the same way that the internet’s freedom will be choked for the sake of security. And I believe the hysterical rhetoric about Assange, Wikileaks etc fuels that fire

snoopicus on December 9, 2010 at 11:52 AM

snoopicus on December 9, 2010 at 11:52 AM

They HAVE to shut us down as the Liberal Left agenda has been exposed as a pack of LIES (Global Baloney, Bowing to tyrants and they will Love us)

The Liars cannot stand the light of day the cockroaches must have darkness to hide their LIES else they will forever be in the minority.

thanks to OBlah Blah the great 1/2 Black Dope they have been exposed!

dhunter on December 9, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Surprising they haven’t Hacked Newt, Huck, mitt, Trump, Rove, Krauthammer, guess the terrorists aren’t too afraid of RINOS!

dhunter on December 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

The only people who have anything to fear from RINOs are conservatives.

bw222 on December 9, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Palin is brilliant and has wisdom that seems bible inspired.
dec5 on December 9, 2010 at 3:02 AM

Oh god (no pun intended). Let’s leave the messianic allusions to the lunatic left.

Vyce on December 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Surprising they haven’t Hacked Newt, Huck, mitt, Trump, Rove, Krauthammer, guess the terrorists aren’t too afraid of RINOS!
dhunter on December 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Like it or not, she’s become the “face” of the Republicans / conservatives. If the face was someone like Newt or Mitt, they’d be the prime target instead.

She’s the most high-profile conservative voice opposing Wikileaks, so she’s got the bullseye on her.

Vyce on December 9, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I didn’t say Wikileaks did the hacking, but they did publish the emails.
Research it please before you start screaming at me!

Jenfidel on December 8, 2010 at 8:09 PM

*facepalm*

That’s like Allahpundit posting a Meghan McCain link and then saying Allahpundit was secretly behind Meggie Mac writing it in the first place…

lansing quaker on December 8, 2010 at 8:18 PM

I take it you’re unfamiliar with the legal term “Aiding and Abetting”. Someone transporting stolen goods can be brought up on charges, alongside the original thief… especially if they are KNOWINGLY transporting.

The WikiLeaks website knowingly trafficked in stolen documents and willfully providing that transport to the original document thieves.

dominigan on December 9, 2010 at 12:47 PM

WikiLeaks® had nothing to do with the e-mail log-in. Nothing. Everyone and their dealer was trying to access anything they could to damage/humiliate Palin in 2008. Re-publishing it means absolutely. nothing. with regard to THIS story and arguing otherwise makes you look ridiculous.

A /b/ tard got into Palin’s e-mail. Anon spread it like wildfire, like they will anything even remotely juicy. WikiLeaks cross-posted it, like every blog on the planet is wont to do about most stories. We KNOW who got into Palin’s e-mail and he was tried and convicted, and there is no relation to Assange, despite your rhetorical “HmMmmM?”s while donning an inquisitive monocle.

You are sounding like an absolute crackpot. Your innocence is charming in an “Awwwwwwwwwwww…” way, but other than that, you are completely off the rails and riding that train into CrazyTown.

lansing quaker on December 8, 2010 at 8:48 PM

As I mentioned above, Wikileaks aided and abetted the crime by providing a transport for stolen information. This is INDEED a crime.

Who sounds like a crackpot?

dominigan on December 9, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Why was Joe the Plumber targeted and not anyone else?

Because he was widely seen by people on the internet as a moron who got way too much attention.

Why was Sarah Palin’s personal email account hacked?

Because she was widely seen by people on the internet as a moron who got way too much attention.

And why is that Private Manning could get his hands on thousands of secret documents that do material harm to the U.S. and our allies?

Because he had access to the SIPRNET set up to share information between agencies after the gigantic 9/11 fail.

It is the Left and it is a “grand conspiracy” to take down the United States and all who believe in her, like Sarah Palin.

No, and if you believe this you are an idiot.

Wikileaks could find someone to hack 0bama’s Blackberry, but they didn’t.

Idiot status confirmed. Literally just compared the Presidents ultra secure blackberry to effing Yahoo mail.

And why is that?

The presidents blackberry uses an AES-256 encryption. Yahoo mail uses “What was the name of your first Dog?”

thphilli on December 8, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Let me get this right moron, in your diseased mind it was OK for STATE OFFICIALS …. DEMOCRAT STATE OFFICIALS …. to look into Joe The Plumber’s PERSONAL INFO in an effort to destroy him, just because he pointed out that Barry is a Communist?

And it’s OK for a DEMOCRAT POLITICIAN’S KID to hack into Sarah Palin’s e-mail because he doesn’t like her? (and was possibly working with David Plouffe)

People like you are exactly what’s wrong with this country. You think it’s OK to go after one’s political enemies in any way possible, even private citizens that just happen to run into your candidate on the campaign trail, and make him look idiotic.

You were born too late. The Nazis could have used a “good man” such as yourself. You would have been most helpful to Der Führer.

gary4205 on December 9, 2010 at 1:03 PM


In Operation Payback, however, participants are “knowingly” downloading the “DDoSing malware itself,” and there is “no victimized machine” in this “act of defiance,” she said.

I think that means that if we find that a machine has participated in a DOS attack, that it’s participation was done with the intent of the owner, and hence access to the internet should be denied by said owner’s ISP.

unclesmrgol on December 9, 2010 at 2:50 PM

gary4205 on December 9, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Thank you for not letting that gem from thphilli go unremarked!
I saw it late last night, but was too tired at that point to comment further and was tired of the personal attacks, which I’m sure is why they do it.

I do love they way they virtually admitted that Palin and Joe the Plumber had been targeted for destruction for political reasons but they made it sound as if they “deserved” to be targeted because the Left thinks they’re stupid and their “stupid” conservative ideas were “getting too much of the public’s attention:”

“Because he/she was widely seen by people on the internet as a moron who got way too much attention.”

You don’t suppose HA has its own Wikileakers, do you?

Jenfidel on December 9, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Palin is brilliant and has wisdom that seems bible inspired.
dec5 on December 9, 2010 at 3:02 AM

Oh god (no pun intended). Let’s leave the messianic allusions to the lunatic left.

Vyce on December 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I don’t know if I agree with dec5, but I would read “wisdom that seems bible inspired” to mean “wisdom inspired by or from the Bible” rather than “wisdom as inspired as the Bible.”

It’s hardly attributing messianic qualities to suggest someone’s wisdom draws inspiration from the Bible.

tom on December 9, 2010 at 7:21 PM

No she called the guy a terrorist in her FB hell read the whole post

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

What is it we do to terrorists? We give the executive branch wide authority and latitude to stop them. Have you been to an airport lately, It hasn’t always been that way. I fear in the same way that the internet’s freedom will be choked for the sake of security. And I believe the hysterical rhetoric about Assange, Wikileaks etc fuels that fire

snoopicus on December 9, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Perfect example of why so many attacks on Palin wind up getting ignored. She didn’t call them terrorists. She asked why they weren’t being pursued with the same urgency.

If they leak information about informants on the Taliban and Al Quaeda in Afghanistan, then they have inserted themselves into the same conflict that the Taliban and Al Quaeda are involved in. That kind of irresponsibility endangers lives of our allies in the War on Terror, and would justify treating them as terrorists.

That’s not the same as saying they are terrorists, but it’s on their own head if they get treated that way.

It’s really very similar to cracking down on those who contribute money to Hamas. No, contributing money does not make them terrorists per se, but it definitely means they’re supporting terrorism, and deserve to be treated that way.

So if you pay attention to what Palin said, she didn’t call them terrorists, but she certainly suggested they were aiding them. And they are.

Which is exactly why — and this is the heart of the matter — they shouldn’t be helping terrorists by publishing information about informants!!!

There’s a case to be made for a site like Wikileaks publishing good if embarrassing information. But the kind of irresponsibility they’ve shown in publishing classified information that endangers lives destroys whatever case they can make.

Palin’s right. They should be shut down with all possible urgency.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 10, 2010 at 12:11 AM

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