The White House asked John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, for his social security number in order to attend a White House dinner event and Podesta provided it to them by email.
“We hope that you will join us at the White House for a State Dinner in honor of His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and Madame Peng Liyuan,” the White House social office’s email reads.
Within the RSVP request, the White House asks for Podesta’s personal information, which includes, gender, date of birth, country of citizenship, dietary restrictions, and precariously enough, his social security number.
“Mary Podesta and I will attend. Please confirm receipt,” Podesta responds a few days later.
Through electronic communication, Podesta presents both his and his wife’s social security numbers, an objectively terrible cybersecurity practice, especially with the litany of cyber-breaches that government organizations and politicians have suffered in recent months and years.
“Please note that you will also be receiving a hard copy invitation in the mail,” the social office continues.
Podesta could have provided his personal data, like his very important social security number, though physical means like the mail in order to deter the prospect of hackers. But the White House is also to blame for asking for his social security number via email. (RELATED: Hackers May Bring Back The Paper Ballot)
Podesta also revealed in a completely separate email that at his Apple log-in password is “Runner4567,” a relatively weak one. Since Podesta chose such simple log-in credentials, it is likely that this very non-cryptic password was used for more than one of his personal online accounts.
The weak password and willingness to give up social security numbers epitomizes the whole WikiLeaks Podesta email dump because it exhibits a clear lack of understanding for proper cybersecurity practices.
The White House’s lack of concern of having social security numbers provided through electronic communications also exemplifies its carelessness when it comes to keeping very sensitive information safe.
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