US Vice President Mike Pence used private email account as governor, was hacked

March 3, 2017 5:30 am

Vice President makes remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, February 23, 2017. (AFP photo)

US Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct public business and discuss sensitive security matters as governor of Indiana, according to a new report, which said the account was hacked last summer.
Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terrorism attacks across the globe, the Indianapolis Star newspaper reported on Thursday.
The newspaper received the emails in response to a public records request. The report said Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer.
Cyber security experts say the hacked emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from cyber attacks, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts.
Indiana law does not prohibit public officials from using personal email accounts, but the law is generally interpreted to mean that government business be conducted on a private account that would be retained for public records.
Furthermore, transparency advocates expressed concerns because personal emails aren’t immediately captured on government servers that are searched in response to public records requests.
Pence fiercely criticized Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign for her use of a private server and email account during her tenure as secretary of state.
He accused Clinton of trying to keep her emails out of public reach and exposing classified information to potential hackers.
Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said Pence didn’t deal with federally classified information as governor. While Pence used a well-known consumer email provider, Clinton had a private server installed in her home, he said.
However, cyber security experts say Pence’s emails were likely just as insecure as Clinton’s. Pence’s account was actually compromised last summer by a scammer who sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of money.
shared on