Was Podesta's cellphone password protected?

WikiLeaks: Clinton’s Campaign Chairman Lost His Cell Phone Getting Out Of Cab, Leaked Podesta Email Shows

John Podesta lost his cell phone getting out of a cab, the latest dump of WikiLeaks “The Podesta Emails” indicates. Podesta, the chairman for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, appears to have sent an email to Eryn Sepp on July 19, 2015, in which he asks for help finding his lost phone.

“[I] lost my phone this am. It must have fallen off my belt getting in or out of the cab. I used Diamond and had a 4:45 pick up at Brandywine. Can you call Diamond Cab and see if the cab driver found it. They should be able to figure it out given the pickup. The receipt says #Diamond 444 C502,” Podesta appears to have written, according to the allegedly leaked email in WikiLeaks’ Podesta files.

Readers have speculated that this incident might have been the way whoever delivered the Podesta files to WikiLeaks was able to access Podesta’s emails.

Podesta then emailed both Milia Fisher, who according to Breitbart is Podesta’s aide, and Eryn Sepp, who according to her LinkedIn page, was Special Assistant to the Chair at Hillary For America at the time. In that email from the same day, Podesta asked Fisher to try to call Diamond Cab if she saw the email before Sepp did.

“Milia, I know you are with friends/family, but if you see this before Eryn, can you try to call Diamond Cab. I don’t have a phone obviously, and want to try to get to the cabbie as early as possible. Thanks John.”

Later that afternoon, Sepp wrote Podesta back indicating that the cab company located his phone. She asked Podesta what he wanted her to do. She said that the cab driver was bringing it back to Diamond’s office in Northeast. Sepp offered to pick up the phone from the cab company’s office the next day, charge it, and drop it off at Podesta’s house. She also offered to check his voicemails regularly to make sure he didn’t fall behind.

“Lifesaver. Thanks. If you can retrieve, i’ll get it at Cap on Tuesday am. Maybe one of their cabbies can bring to 1333 H on Monday and you can do a street handoff,” Podesta seemingly wrote to Sepp in an email, featured on WikiLeaks website. “They can charge you the cab fare and tip and I can reimburse you on Tuesday. Thanks!”

None of the emails seemed to indicate that Podesta or Sepp had concerns over privacy or feared a security breach for the campaign, given that nothing was mentioned about hurriedly changing passwords and the only apparent exasperation was going a day without a phone. The leaked emails themselves don’t prove that Podesta himself leaked his own emails, as many WikiLeaks subscribers are implying. The emails between Podesta, Sepp, and Fisher did indicate that Podesta might have allowed his aides to know his passwords, though, as they discussed adding Podesta’s landline to their contacts until his cellphone was back.

Sepp seemingly asked Fisher to check Podesta’s Gmail, according to an email in the WikiLeaks files.

“Added to my version of John’s contacts but not sure it will update in his gmail. Can you check?”

Sepp also said that she, herself, would need to change Podesta’s “Georgetown password this week, too.”

Another leaked email shows that Podesta had the email address “podesta@georgetown.edu” and that Sepp seemed to have access to that email account. In February 2015, Podesta was locked out of his Georgetown University email account. According to the leaked documents, Podesta asked Sepp to get the issue straightened out.

“Will do,” Sepp responded, according to the WikiLeaks document. “That’s weird. We definitely followed their instructions.”

On Reddit, users are claiming more evidence indicates that Podesta’s email leaks had nothing to do with Russian hacking.

“Do a lot of undercover Russian agents drive taxis?”

One email stands out among the Reddit users’ mocking of Podesta.

“Though CAP is still having issues with my email and computer, yours is good to go,” Sepp allegedly emailed Podesta in February 2015. Then, Sepp informs Podesta of his new username and password.

It’s almost unbelievable.

The Washington Examiner reports that researchers at SecureWorks believe that Podesta handed Russian-affiliated phishers access to his account using a March 19 email with a Bitly link which was presumably clicked by Podesta. That link reportedly led to a website that looked like Google’s password reset page.

So, what do you think? Do you think the phishing email that Podesta received on March 19 was the root of WikiLeaks’ Podesta files, or could it have been something even less sinister like the time Podesta lost his cellphone?

[Featured Image by Gage Skidmore | Flickr | Cropped and resized | CC BY-SA 2.0]

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