13:47 PM

Did Angelides hack CA server?

By Richard Koman for Silicon Valley Watcher

Democratic candidate for CA governor Phil Angelides' campaign workers grabbed audio files from a State of California server and provided them to LA Times reporters, who broke the hugely embarrassing story that Arnold called a Latina assemblywoman "hot," and characterized blacks and Cubans as "hot blooded." The recording also captures Arnold and staff calling Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy "Bakersfield boy" and Assemblyman George Plescia a startled deer. (Listen to the MP3.)

Monday, the administration claimed that their servers had been cracked and the California Highway Patrol said they were launching an investigation.

Yesterday, Angelides' campaign said they did nothing wrong, that the files were publicly available from a public website. The LA Times reports:

Angelides campaign manager Cathy Calfo said her camp came by the audiotape easily. She said an Angelides campaign researcher who downloads documents daily from government websites got the material by backtracking from a link sent out Aug. 29 by Schwarzenegger's press office.

She said the researcher used the link in the Schwarzenegger press release to download four hours of recordings, including six minutes of Schwarzenegger bantering last spring with his chief of staff, a speechwriter and a speech coach.

According to News.com, the files were available on speeches.gov.ca.gov/dir, available simply by trimming the end of a URL provided by the administration.

The most basic web security is to make directory contents unavailable. Apparently that much was not even done.

"We believe that these audio files--accessed through a public Web site, requiring no password, and not marked confidential--are a matter of public record and should be made available to the media and the public," said Cathy Calfo, Angelides' campaign manager.

Schwarzenegger campaign manager Steve Schmidt denied the file had been on a public site, insisting that the site had been password-protected, but he offered no proof Tuesday, just pointing to a statement by Arnold's legal affair secretary that the site was private, the Times said. Schmidt said law enforcement officials would determine whether the downloading was illegal.

"This was an attempted political dirty trick and they've been found out," Schmidt said.

So once again, it seems, Arnold has turned what looks like a black eye for him into hot water for his opponents. If Calfo's version holds up, the only crime was laughable security on the part of the administration. But there seems no doubt this looks far worse for Angelides than Schwarzenegger.