In conducting our investigation, we reached out to many legal, computer and security experts. One of these experts was Hemanshu Niagm, a former US DOJ prosecutor against computer crimes and online crimes against children and, from 2006-2010, Chief Security Office for MySpace and NewsCorp. When asked about WeinerGate, Mr. Niagm responded:
I was looking at the articles related to Congressman Weiner’s Twitter issue and found a few things that seem ‘off.
If this were an unauthorized access to Congressman Weiner’s Twitter account, more likely it was someone who had ‘phished’ Congressman Weiner’s account rather than hacked into it. In other words, someone had convinced Weiner to give up his username and password to Twitter. If true, the good thing is that Twitter keeps a running log of every account access made to a particular account and what time and date it was made and from where it was made – the IP address. This information can be obtained in a very simple police/FBI investigation and provide the answer to who did this ‘phishing’. Hack means someone actually broke Twitter’s many layered security defenses and got into this particular Congressman’s account – a very unlikely scenario. Either way, the perpetrator would have committed a few federal crimes that are relatively easy to investigate even if this was done via phishing.
The other thing that seems off is that the Congressman can easily and should refer that matter to the FBI who has the capability to conduct such an investigation and has the jurisdiction to do it. When crimes against federal officials are committed, this is standard practice and one followed many times by others in similar situations.
While there might be much partisan politics surrounding this matter, the technology and digital fingerprints speak the truth without engaging in political rhetoric.