Tag Archives: AOL

The apparent hack of several e-mail accounts has exposed personal photos and sensitive correspondence from members of the Bush family, including both former U.S. presidents, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The photos and e-mails were uploaded yesterday to an online account that appears to have been hacked for the purpose of hosting the material.

In e-mail exchanges with the person who claimed responsibility for the hack, the individual claimed to have swiped “a lot of stuff,” including “interesting mails” about George H.W. Bush’s recent hospitalization, “Bush 43,” and other Bush family members.

Included in the hacked material is a confidential October 2012 list of home addresses, cell phone numbers, and e-mails for dozens of Bush family members, including both former presidents, their siblings, and their children. The posted photos and e-mails contain a watermark with the hacker’s online alias, “Guccifer.”

Correspondence obtained by the hacker indicates that at least six separate e-mail accounts have been compromised, including the AOL account of Dorothy Bush Koch, daughter of George H.W. Bush and sister of George W. Bush. Other breached accounts belong to Willard Heminway, 79, an old friend of the 41st president who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut; CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, a longtime Bush family friend; former first lady Barbara Bush’s brother; and George H.W. Bush’s sister-in-law.

Both Heminway and Nantz corresponded with Bush, 88, about playing golf and visiting the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

The hacked e-mails, sent between 2009 and 2012, include correspondence between Nantz and George W. Bush’s scheduler about an October 2010 golf outing in Dallas. One e-mail includes the street address for Bush, 66, as well as the four-digit code Nantz needed to enter at a security gate. A second e-mail includes details of where Nantz and Bush planned to have dinner after their Saturday golf outing.

One of the hacked Heminway e-mails was sent to him by Brit Hume, the Fox News political analyst, days after the 2012 presidential election. “Election outcome disappointing, but there are many silver linings,” Hume wrote in the November 9 e-mail.

The breach of Dorothy Bush’s AOL account yielded the hacker e-mails that were sent to her late last year about the health of her father, who was then hospitalized in Houston. A November 28 “Report on Dad” e-mail was sent to several family members by Neil Bush, one of George H.W. Bush’s four sons, and included specific details of the 41st president’s illness and prognosis.

In a December 27 e-mail to his four siblings, Jeb Bush saluted his ailing father’s “kindness and good nature” and pointed to “how kind he was with President Clinton and he helped restore his sordid reputation. A very tough thing to do but with kindness, dad probably helped Bill Clinton than anything he himself has done.”

Bush, who wrote at a time his father was in intensive care (and amid media reports that the ex-president was on his death bed), added, “Might be tough to say it that way in a eulogy with President 42 there.”

The hacked e-mails reveal that Bush’s health was so perilous in late-December that the former president’s chief of staff wrote his children to inform them that “your dad’s funeral team is having an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. just to go through all the details.” The Bush aide, Jean Becker, noted that this information “fell under the broadening category of things NOT TO TELL YOUR MOTHER.”

In a December 26 e-mail to his siblings, George W. Bush wrote that he was “thinking about eulogy” and solicited stories that best illustrated their father’s sweet nature, favorite jokes, and acts of kindness. “Hopefully I’m jumping the gun,” noted Bush, who added, “But since the feeling is that you all would rather me speak than bubba, please help.” The mention of “bubba” is apparently a reference to Clinton, whom Bush has referred to as a “brother” due to his close relationship with George H. W. Bush.

Another hacked e-mail showed that presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett forwarded a personal message in late-December to the ailing Bush from President Barack Obama, who wrote that, “Michelle and I haven’t wanted to impinge on you while you are recuperating, but please know that we are thinking of you and the entire family.”

One of the photos intercepted by the hacker shows Bush in a hospital. In an e-mail, the hacker said the photo was snapped in December 2012, and that he took the image from Dorothy Bush’s e-mail account. Reached on her cell phone, a shocked Dorothy Bush said she was unaware that her account had been hacked. “Why would someone do this?” asked the 53-year-old Bush, who is pictured at right.

Other family photos show George H.W. Bush with Clinton at the Bush family compound in Maine; Jeb Bush; George W. Bush posing next to a cardboard cutout with his face attached to it; George W. Bush with Ralph Lauren and the designer’s son David (who is married to Neil Bush’s daughter Lauren); and Barbara Bush and Laura Bush posing with a military member.

The hacker also intercepted photos that George W. Bush e-mailed two months ago to his sister showing paintings that he was working on, including self-portraits of him showering and in a bathtub. Another image shows the former president painting at the family’s Maine retreat (his subject is St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, a historic seaside chapel down the road from the sprawling Kennebunkport compound).

The hacker contends that “The feds” began investigating him a “long time ago,” and that he has hacked “hundreds of accounts.” Asked if he was concerned about the FBI/Secret Service investigation that will no doubt follow shortly, he replied crytically, “i have an old game with the fucking bastards inside, this is just another chapter in the game.”

Audacious Hack Exposes Bush Family Pix, E-Mail | The Smoking Gun.

Microsoft has been added to the list of companies operating within the UK that has used a legal loophole to avoid paying corporation tax. According to reports Microsoft avoids paying £159 million worth of tax every year, and is thought to have avoided tax on £1.7 billion of online sales in the UK.

Microsoft puts transactions through Luxembourg to sidestep any taxes it would normally have to pay, according to The Sunday Times. The Luxembourg HQ has a small number of staff who then transfer the royalties to Microsoft‘s European HQ in Ireland, with dividends being directed to the parent company in Bermuda.

Microsoft is the latest in a growing number using this method to avoid UK tax. Starbucks, Amazon, AOL and eBay have also reportedly been found to use similar techniques. While what they’re doing is legal it isn’t likely to sit well with UK taxpayers.

A spokesman from Microsoft said:

Microsoft pays all due taxes, as required by law, worldwide. Microsoft subsidiaries are fully subject to tax in the jurisdictions in which we operate. We are regularly audited by major tax jurisdictions, which ensure the company is complying with all rules and regulations.

Microsoft avoids paying £159 million UK tax every year.

The major Web-based e-mail providers are joining forces with an anti-fraud startup, which is launching tomorrow, to help keep phishing messages out of peoples’ inboxes.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL are providing metadata from messages that get delivered to their customers to Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agari so it can be used to look for patterns that indicate phishing attacks. Agari collects data from about 1.5 billion messages a day and analyzes them in a cloud-based infrastructure, according to Agari CEO Patrick Peterson.

The company aggregates and analyzes the data and provides it to about 50 e-commerce, financial services and social network customers, including Facebook and YouSendIt, who can then push out authentication policies to the e-mail providers when they see an attack is happening.

“Facebook can go into the Agari console and see charts and graphs of all the activity going on in their e-mail channel (on their domains and third-party solutions) and see when an attack is going on in a bar chart of spam hitting Yahoo,” for instance, Daniel Raskin, vice president of marketing for Agari, told CNET in an interview. “They receive a real-time alert and they can construct a policy to push out to carriers (that says) when you see this thing happening don’t deliver it, reject it.”

Agari doesn’t collect the actual messages, he said. Some e-mail providers will take a message that is failing authentication and provide the malicious URLs in it to Agari to pass on to the company whose name is being used in the phishing messages, Raskin said. “Other than that we don’t want to see the content,” he said.

Google expects Gmail users to benefit as more mail senders authenticate their messages and implement block policies.

“Since 2004 Gmail has supported several authentication standards and developed features to help combat e-mail phishing and fraud,” Google Product Manager Adam Dawes said in a statement to CNET. “Proper coordination between senders and receivers is the best way to cut down on the transmission of unauthorized mail, and AGARI’s approach helps simplify this process.”

Agari, which has been operating in stealth mode since October 2009, rejected more than 1 billion messages across its e-mail partners’ networks in a year, according to Peterson, who was with the original management team of e-mail security firm IronPort. IronPort got acquired by Cisco in 2007.

Agari protects 50 percent of U.S. consumer e-mail traffic and more than one billion individual mailboxes.

via Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL join Agari anti-phishing service