Just when the Norm Coleman campaign started actively pressing for contributions, The Hill reports that previous on-line donors had better start canceling their credit cards.  Apparently, their site for on-line donations got hacked, and the thieves have threatened to release the information (vua Fraters Libertas):

Norm Coleman’s Senate campaign said Wednesday that the private information of its supporters has probably been breached and is encouraging them to cancel their credit cards.

Coleman backers began receiving e-mails Tuesday night from an e-mail address at wikileaks.org stating that it possessed personal information about them and was preparing to post it online.

The same address stated in an e-mail early Wednesday morning that “we have discovered that all on-line Coleman contributors had their full credit card details released onto the Internet on 28 of [January], 2009, by Coleman’s staff.”

Coleman’s campaign followed with an e-mail Wednesday morning that said the campaign became worried that its firewalls had been breached in January. …

Coleman’s campaign is encouraging supporters who think they might have contributed to the campaign to cancel their credit cards.

I donated to Coleman, but not on line, so this doesn’t affect me personally or directly.  However, it will affect thousands of Coleman backers who assumed their information would be protected.  Some of them may question the long period of time between the point where they became concerned and the point when they began to warn their contributors of a problem.

Of course, this could be just a dirty trick, and one that would be well-timed.  Coleman’s campaign began calling its donor base this week in a new fundraising effort to keep their election contest in action.  The timing of this e-mail seems pretty suspicious; it will certainly have potential donors thinking twice about tossing some cash into the kitty with credit cards, on line or any other way.

My guess: dirty-trick hoax.  But prepare yourself nonetheless.  I’ve checked the file, and it looks rather convincing.

Update: Just got an e-mail from one of the people on the list, who says his information is unfortunately all too accurate.