Canadian Prime Minister 'Choked' in Website Hack
CREDIT: Office of the Prime Minister
Hackers illegally accessed Canada's Conservative Party website and planted a bogus news story reporting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been rushed to the hospital after choking on breakfast. The network intruders also made off with thousands of party donors' names and email addresses.
The phony press release, captured in a screen shot yesterday morning (June 7) by The Register, said Harper was "eating breakfast with his kids when a piece of hash-brown lodged in his throat, blocking air from reaching his lungs," and that he was flown to Toronto General Hospital for treatment.
Harper's press secretary said the prime minister is fine, and that he arrived for work yesterday with no incident. The defaced website was quickly taken offline, but is back up now.
A hacking group called LulzRaft has taken credit for the intrusion. On its Twitter page @LulzRaft, the group wrote, "The conservatives said no contributor data was accessed...I wonder where this sample came from then!" The tweet includes a link to a cache of about 5,600 contributors' names and email addresses.
(Both Canada and the U.S. require political candidates and groups to disclose the names of all donors who give them more than $200 during an election cycle. Donors can easily get around disclosure by giving $200 to each of many different groups working toward a common goal.)
Though it bears a similar name, LulzRaft says it is not in any way associated with LulzSec, the hacking group behind recent intrusions on PBS, Fox and Nintendo.
"Dear Media: Stop making connections that aren't there. We aren't connected to @lulzsec, and I guarantee we aren't anarchists," a June 7 tweet reads.
Though they are new on the hacktivism scene, LulzRaft has already published data stolen from the Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corp., Shanghai Hengjun Science & Technology Co., and the city of Imperial, Calif.