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Hack the Gibson!

September 19, 2008 - Wes Burns
McCain's VP candidate had her Yahoo mail account "hacked" a couple days ago and now the Secret Service has become involved. Apparently this is a huge breach of national security and the malicious group known as "Anonymous" must be stopped.


Sorry, every time I hear somebody say "hack" my mind wanders to Matthew Lillard's woefully underrated performance in the mid-90's tour de force that is "Hackers". I think that maybe the Secret Service needs to watch the movie to know what they're up against.

Anybody seen "Hackers"? How about that "" movie a couple years ago? Ever seen an episode of CSI where there is a fuzzy image on a screen and David Caruso has the spunky computer gal "enhance" the image by typing furiously on a keyboard only to reveal a hidden dagger in the coat-sleeve of a casino patron then stand up and triumphantly remove his sunglasses, turn to look at the camera and say "jackpot."?

These instances have one thing in common: none of them are real. Not the crazy, visual "hacking" that goes on in "Hackers", not the "untraceable website" in "" and not the "enhance" video whatnot from CSI: Tama or wherever they have placed the show now.

Hacking is something that sounds cool on the screen but is the polar opposite in real life. A bunch of light-deprived guys and gals making each other laugh by turning the website for the national foundation for epileptics into a swirl of blinking lights and patterns? It has a certain dark humor to it but its practitioners are most definitely not what Hollywood calls "cool".

How hard was it to access Ms. Palin's account? As just about any jilted ex-spouse can tell you a Yahoo account is pretty easy to get into. The hacker, relaying the experience on 4chan (if you don't know what it is you do not want to learn) said that they just used the "forgot my password" function and correctly guessed the question. The kicker? They answered the question using information that was in Palin's speech at the Republican Convention.

Why is the Secret Service involved? I guess Ms. Palin used her personal e-mail account to conduct official business. Why? No idea...but if she has nothing to hide then she shouldn't be afraid. Right? See how that argument doesn't really hold water?

Did some group of Matrix style, hair jelled, black clad digital ninjas break into her email using quantum computers from an off shore oil rig? No. Did someone see that she had a Yahoo account and decide to see if they could get in? Absolutely.

As for the group Anonymous: these are the guys responsible for repeated attacks on the Church (?) of Scientology website as well as the aforementioned hack of the epilepsy foundation site. In Canada Anonymous members were responsible for the arrest of a sex offender who was luring children over the internet. Worldwide Anonymous members put forth a concerted effort to ruin the end of the last "Harry Potter" book before it was released.

Does these guys remind anybody of Project Mayhem from "Fight Club"; only with computers and a deep seated hatred for Scientology instead of anarchist tendencies and punching?

Was this a political ploy to learn more about Ms. Palin's personal life? Some kind of digital Watergate? Not at all. This was just another in what I'm sure will be a long line of "attacks" from this group of transgressive mischief makers. I'm sure next on the list is to hack the W.O.P.R. or unleash a "rabbit attack" because some foolish CEO set his password to GOD. And I'm sure the media will expose them right away, just as soon as they can get that photo to enhance.


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