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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Facebook Accounts of MO Legislators Hacked

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Mo legislator Facebook accounts hackedI’ve written before about online safety and privacy (and specifically How Facebook Sells Your Friends). St. Louis Today has reported that some Missouri legislators have learned this lesson the hard way… with five Missouri House members having their Facebook accounts hacked since the session began on January 5th.

How IT specialists have not yet pinpointed the cause, but signs point to a "potentially gaping computer security hole." The Missouri House provides a free, open wireless network for House visitors and legislators that "serves as a virtual welcome mat for hackers". Each of the hacking victims had used the open wi-fi system recently.

One hacker posted the following to Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R- Jackson):

"I love lobbyist (sic) All the free food and stuff you get. This job is awesome!"

Clearly, this type of attack can wreak havoc on a politician’s carefully crafted messaging and the political damage can be immediate and long lasting.

St. Louis Today found that some legislators used the public wi-fi almost exclusively and many did not even know how to access the secure network for legislators.

Read more: Facebook accounts of four Mo. legislators are hacked [Rebecca Berg at stltoday.com]

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(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison