On Tuesday, The New York Times published a story detailing a tech aide’s account in which he believes it was his mistake that led to the ultimate hacking and posting of Clinton Campaign manager John Podesta’s private gmail conversations. Charles Delavan, the IT aide for the Clinton campaign, told The Times that his tiny typo of accidentially referring to a phishing email pretending to come from Google as “legitimate” as opposed to “illegitimate” is what led to Podesta’s account being compromised. Delavan confessed to The New York Times that the fact his slip up had such an impact on the election continues to hang heavy over his head.
“This is a legitimate email,” Delavan said to another aide, Sara Latham, accompanied by a forwarded phishing message from a fake gmail account with the address “[email protected].”
“John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account,” the IT aide continued.
Delavan then advised that Podesta click on the link Delavan himself provided, which would bring those who clicked on it to an authentic gmail page.
“It is absolutely imperative that this is done ASAP,” he added.
Sara Latham then forwarded the email from Charles Delavan to a third Clinton campaign staffer, Milia Fisher, telling her Delavan notified her that the phishing email was “real.”
“The gmail one is REAL,” Latham told Fisher before asking about specifics to make sure Podesta wouldn’t end up getting locked out of his account.
Fisher wrote back and said she would “call John right away and work on new passwords.”
Delavan explained to The Times that his mistake in typing “legitimate” instead of “illegitimate” led the aides to believe the emails they had been receiving were in fact coming from Google. Therefore, in moving forward with changing passwords, someone in the chain of commands used the link the potential hackers offered, bringing you to their website and tricking you into entering your password, rather than the correct URL supplied by Delavan or going through Google directly.
The result of a slew of emails from Podesta’s mailbox being provided to Wikileaks and posted on the internet for all to see. The email conversations revealed some damaging statements from Clinton’s campaign team, including some criticizing the downfalls of their candidate, Hillary Clinton. While it is uncertain just how much of an impact the revealed emails had on influencing voters, the end result of the election was the Democratic Candidate’s loss to now President-elect Donald J. Trump.