SEARCH
« President Obama to Nominate Mike McFaul as Ambassador to Russia | Main | California Pushes to Opt Out of Federal Immigration Program »
Tuesday
May312011

Weiner Hires Lawyer After Twitter ‘Prank’

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., has hired a lawyer after a lewd photo of an unidentified man was posted to his Twitter account and sent to a 21-year-old female college student from Seattle the politican was following on the microblogging service.

A spokesman for Weiner said the congressman is exploring "civil or criminal actions" in response to the incident, which he called a "prank." It's unclear whether the office has also requested an independent investigation.

The Twitter post, which appeared Friday night and was quickly deleted, was first reported on by conservative website Biggovernment.com. 

"I was hacked. It happens to people," Weiner told CNN Monday night. "This is a prank, not a terribly creative one, and it's a distraction."

Gennette Cordova, the alleged target of Weiner's tweet, said in a statement Sunday to the New York Daily News that even though she was a "fan" of Weiner, she has never met the congressman. For his part, Weiner has yet to explain why he was following the young woman who had been following him on Twitter.

Weiner, 46, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Internet security experts said the controversial post could have easily been done by someone with access to the congressman’s accounts.  But they also say it's plausible that an unauthorized person infiltrated the system.

"Those things get hacked the simplest ways," Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute for Computer Security Training, said of Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

"It's either shoulder surfing, where someone stands behind you when you sign in, or they just guess," he said. "They figure out what your user name is, which is usually your name, and then they just try your wife's name, your kid's name, your wife's birthday for the password or just keep trying until they find one."

What happened in Weiner's case remains to be seen. Twitter users have pointed out since the story broke how easy it is to accidentally send public a so-called DM, or a private, user-to-user direct message.

If a hacker was responsible for the post, it wouldn't be the first time. A 25-year-old Frenchman hacked into President Obama's Twitter account last year and was later arrested. And hackers broke into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's personal email account in 2008, exposing cell phone numbers and other private information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>






ABC News Radio