Article Lead Image

Screengrab via Fox News/YouTube

Trolls may have used WikiLeaks emails to wipe Clinton campaign chair’s iPhone

Adding insult to injury.


Jay Hathaway


Posted on Oct 13, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 7:31 pm CDT

WikiLeaks’ release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, came up during the second presidential debate, but has been overshadowed this week by allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump. Those thousands of emails are still out there, though, and forum trolls may have used them to remotely wipe Podesta’s phone

Some of the Podesta emails WikiLeaks chose to publish contained more than enough personal information to reset Podesta’s Apple iCloud and mess with his phone from afar. Even his Social Security number was allegedly published. 

4chan’s “politically incorrect” /pol/ board—basically an online monument to Donald Trump and white nationalism at this point—claimed credit for taking over Podesta’s Twitter account, according to Gizmodo.

And then on Endchan, another, even more fringe anonymous message board, someone claimed to have successfully logged into Podesta’s iCloud account and erased his iPhone and iPad. 

In both cases, the method of attack seems to have been password resets—presumably using the information posted by WikiLeaks.

Redditors on r/the_donald, the Reddit counterpart to /pol/, also claim to have downloaded the contents of the iCloud account. 

Gizmodo also exchanged DMs with a hacker who claimed to have used the Podesta info to phish other DNC members, including ranking senators and Vice President Joe Biden. 

The FBI is currently investigating whether Russia was behind the Podesta email hack. The predictable fallout from WikiLeaks’ unredacted dump of Podesta’s info certainly lends credence to Clinton’s claim during the debate: If the hacks were intended to influence the U.S. election, they certainly weren’t intended to help her win.

H/T The Verge

Share this article
*First Published: Oct 13, 2016, 7:09 pm CDT