PHILADELPHIA – After first discovering and acknowledging that a website run by the Democratic National Committee was hacked in April, the same DNC press secretary sent out the password to the DNC’s system on the Committee’s possibly compromised email server not once but twice.
On April 29, 2016, Rachel Palermo, a DNC press assistant, sent an email to DNC staff alerting them, “We have been compromised! But it’s all ok.”
She was referring to Factivists, a “grassroots rapid response” website that challenges Republicans and is paid for by the DNC.
Palermo then proceeded to provide the hacked website’s password over the same DNC email server not once but twice.
“Here is our new password: HHQTevgHQ@z&8b6. It will now change every few weeks to prevent future issues. So as it is reset, I will forward it along,” she wrote.
Three hours later, Palermo informed DNC press staff, “We’re locked out again. I’ll advise when I have a new password.”
About two hours later, she sent out the password a second time on the same DNC email server. “New password: HQTevgHQ@z&8b6.”
It seems that the possibility her own email system had been hacked did not occur to Palermo.
Indeed, her emails were among those included in a Wikileaks release of nearly 20,000 hacked email messages from several DNC leaders.
Last month, the Washington Post reported the DNC realized in April – the same month of Palermo’s emails regarding new passwords – that their systems were seriously compromised.
DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity.
“It’s never a call any executive wants to get, but the IT team knew something was awry,” Dacey said. And they knew it was serious enough that they wanted experts to investigate.
That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called Henry, whom he has known for many years.
Within 24 hours, CrowdStrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Joshua Klein.