What happens when someone in the media openly criticises hackers? Why, they then get hacked themselves to prove a point and get revenge. This is exactly what has happened to Bill O’Reilly after he launched a verbal attack on the people who hacked in to Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email address and then published the details of her inbox online.
On September 18th, it was revealed that Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, and Vice-Presidential running mate to Republican John McCain, had fallen victim to a hacker. Her Yahoo email account was broken in to, in the most simplest of fashions, and some of the emails from her inbox were published on WikiLeaks.
While this is a crime, it was done not to cause harm or embarrassment, but merely to prove whether or not Palin was using a private email account to conduct government business. But rather than look at the facts surrounding the hack, ultra-conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly just went for the jugular and verbally attacked not only the hackers themselves, but even the sites publishing the material on the Internet.
O’Reilly’s attack on the hackers can be seen in the clip below, which includes him calling for the owner of WikiLeaks to be arrested and charged for the offence.
O’Reilly has now got his comeuppance as unnamed hackers have reacted by hacking in to his official website, billoreilly.com, and obtained the names of premium subscribers. They not only managed to discover the names of these O’Reilly fans but also their addresses and passwords to the site.
All affected members of the site have been notified, and it has since been locked down to avoid any further incidents. But, as with the Palin hack, this virtual break-in wasn’t done for malicious reasons. No credit card details were stolen, and no harm was done to the website itself. The hackers seem to have hit O’Reilly just to prove the point. And I can’t say I blame them.