Hypocrisy Alert: Veep Pence Used AOL Account for State Business

Hypocrisy Alert: Veep Pence Used AOL Account for State Business

US Vice-president Mike Pence used a personal webmail account when Indiana governor to conduct state business, including matters of homeland security, which was subsequently hacked, according to a new report.

The IndyStar obtained 29 pages of emails from Pence's AOL account, released to it by the office of current governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb.  

They show him discussing various official matters with advisors, including what the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe should be.

A statement from Pence’s office had the following:

"Similar to previous governors, during his time as governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As governor, Mr Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.”

His actions might have been technically legal according to state law but they also smack of rank hypocrisy as Pence was among the many voices highly critical of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server on which to conduct state business while secretary of state.

Also, unlike Clinton, his webmail account was apparently hacked last year by a fraudster who tried to trick his address book contacts into sending money by claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines.

After the incident, he is said to have simply set up a new AOL account.

There are also suggestions that Pence may not have followed the advice of Indiana public access counselor Luke Britt – to forward any emails involving state business to his government account – until he was leaving the governor’s office.

This isn’t the first cybersecurity scandal to hit the Trump administration.

Question marks have been raised over the cybersecurity posture of Trump’s businesses in the past, while it was revealed in January that 13 top staffers including new cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani have had log-in credentials compromised in historic data breaches.

Despite all its pre-election bluster and accusations about Clinton being a national security risk, the truth is that the Trump administration is as clueless, if not more so, than the opposition when it comes to cybersecurity.

It’s widely believed that the state-sponsored hackers that managed to infiltrate Democratic officials’ emails were also able to access GOP communications.

Source: Information Security Magazine