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Saddam's Inbox Hacked 764

MotorMachineMercenar writes "Wired News is reporting that Saddam Hussein's email account ( has been hacked into. The account had a five-letter login with the same password. Messages in his inbox sent from all over the world included everything from death threats to business propositions to offers to sell him WMDs. A choice quote from the article: 'One AOL user sent Saddam a one-word message: 'Imminent.' Attached to the Aug. 6 e-mail was a photograph of an atomic mushroom cloud.' I wonder what the login was." You'd think it was "press," password "press," but if it were that obvious I think someone would have said so.
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Saddam's Inbox Hacked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:47PM (#4548355)
    Mr. Jambunju of Nigeria needs his help getting his family's money out of the country, and if Saddam helps, he will get half of it.

    Plus, thanks to the miracle of herbal viagra, he'll soon be able to sustain an erection all night, and please many women in bed!
  • hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by pizza_milkshake ( 580452 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:48PM (#4548363)
    hmmm Saddam wasn't using AOL? he may be more dangerous than we thought.
  • Hoax? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:48PM (#4548364) Homepage Journal
    I can't help but think this is bogus. What exactly is _Saddam_'s Inbox? Does _he_ read that mail, or do his subordinates? Anyway...interesting, no matter if it's true or not.
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I agree. A hoax or an intentional plant on Hussein's part. I immediately thought of the "orgy of evidence" line from Minority Report.

      On the other hand, if it's true, whomever "hacked" the account and told the press probably only duplicated a hack already done by the NSA, and caused Saddam to close the hole. Good job, bonehead!
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I vote Red Herring ...
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:56PM (#4548444) Homepage Journal
      Well, like the article says, the address is the Iraqi equivalent of "". (As opposed to "", which is something quite different. ;) So what it means, no doubt, is that a bunch of low-level employees do a first pass through it, filter out all the spam and death threats, then pass it onto their slightly less low-level superiors, who filter out most of the rest of it and write up summaries, then pass it on ... [repeat n times] ... until Saddam gets a one-page summary on his desk and maybe a couple of really interesting letters, like the one from an American to which he (supposedly) wrote a personal reply.

      Iraq's government is very, very different from ours in a lot of ways (duh) but it's still a government, and thus a bureaucracy, and all bureaucracies have certain aspects in common. The people who read the e-mail addressed to "" and those who read the e-mail addressed to "" would probably be able to fit quite nicely into each other's jobs.
    • Duh! Saddam doesn't read his email, one of the "Saddam Lookalikes" reads the email, and occasionally responds... so I guess you could call them "Saddam Typealikes".
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:3, Funny)

      by dattaway ( 3088 )
      Its a hoax until I see links to mirrors of his inbox. It would be for historical purposes of course...
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Genjurosan ( 601032 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:15PM (#4548651)
      For some reason, I just don't see Saddam reading e-mail. What exactly would he expect? An outlook invite to the lunch and learn session on advanced tourture methods in the atomic conference room? Or perhaps he gives out his card at political functions so that people can e-mail him new ideas about how to fund terrorist operations without the world knowing about it.

      Saddam Hussein
      President, god, and super nice guy (because I said so).
      Iraq, country of milk and honey
      (964)(1) 718-9267 (phone)
      (964)(1) 885-2286 (fax)

      "This issue is not inspectors, the issue is disarmament."

      - GWB
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:05PM (#4549127)
      You're missing the point. The joke is not on Saddam, but on all those well-wishers, detractors, and would-be business partners who sent him mail. I found the excerpts very entertaining.
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:48PM (#4548365) Journal

    Hack inbox for great justice

    Seriously, when are people going to learn that short usernames with the username as the password are a bad idea? Maybe the US should bomb everybody whose email is stupidly secured like that?

    • Maybe the US should bomb everybody whose email is stupidly secured like that?

      I think you mean the US should set him up the bomb.
    • ... what Saddam's "zig" is...
  • Hear that? (Score:5, Funny)

    by browser_war_pow ( 100778 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:48PM (#4548368) Homepage
    That's the sound of some poor Iraqi IT worker's neck getting H@X0r3d...........
  • Password (Score:5, Funny)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:49PM (#4548379) Journal
    The strange thing is that he uses the exact same password that I use on my luggage!
  • by Jonny Balls ( 543700 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:50PM (#4548386) Homepage
    Don't you think his password wouldn't be in ENGLISH?
    • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:05PM (#4548553) Homepage Journal
      C'mon, don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

      Remember our friend from last year []?

      Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna play some Doom 3.

    • by babbage ( 61057 ) <> on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:16PM (#4548669) Homepage Journal
      What, so "press" is the Arabic word for a journalistic contact address now? What a cognate!!

      You make a valid point, but English does seem to be the lingua franca of the interweb, even (apparently) among contries at the "axes of evil". The site seems to largely be in English, so the people running it presumably are English speakers as well. I can say, just from some of the foreign-born students I've known, that people that learn a technical subject in a particular language will tend to think in that language when practicing the craft, even if otherwise they speak something else. (For example, a Russian friend who studied aeronautical engineering as his father did, but couldn't discuss the subject with his dad because he only knew the English terms for everything & didn't know how to express the same concepts in his native language.)

      So, like I say, I think your point is insightful, but at the same time I don't think it's unreasonable that the un/pw would have been English terms if the rest of the site was also English (as, from the little I poked around, it seems to be).

  • WMD (Score:3, Informative)

    by po8 ( 187055 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:50PM (#4548389)

    WMD = Weapon of Mass Destruction. Not obvious, IMHO.

    • Re:WMD (Score:5, Funny)

      by Pike65 ( 454932 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:03PM (#4548520) Homepage
      Oh OK.

      . . . . How exactly do you send someone an e-mail trying to sell them a weapon of mass distruction?

      You have been approved.
      You can receive a thermo-nuclear warhead!
      Did You Know?
      -There are No special requirements to obtain these weapons.
      -These are weapons that you NEVER have to repay!

      Sadam,You Qualify!
      Click Here
      Limited Time Offer!
  • by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <> on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:50PM (#4548391) Homepage
    Hmm...this would make for a good fark contest: Make a email that might be in Saddam's inbox.


    Subject: Hahahahaha

    Prepare your Camels, 'cause we're about to get medeviel on your scud-launching ass. And if you use Bio weapons, you won't stop glowing for a LONG time. And don't think you can bankrupt us. We use weapons on you, we order more, our side gets more jobs. So let us in, or we'll come down on you like the hand of god.

    Party on,

    • by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:55PM (#4548442)
      If it mentioned oil I could have sworn dubya himself wrote that email. Grammer mistakes and all.
    • To:

      Subject: Re: Hahahahaha

      Forgot to add: If you are going to send the big bad Republican Guard after us, please be sure to equip them with white flags and THEIR own hand restraints. It was quite annoying last time to have to resort to plastic ties.

      Oh, oh, and please pass out white flags. We'd hate to accidently kill one of the many thousands trying to surrender.

      And once again, use bio weapons on us, and we'll do something truly evil back: Feed your people. Including the Kurds.

      We have food
      Are you afraid?
      Down with Iraq
      Down with Iraq

    • Re:I wonder.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:13PM (#4548639)
      Party on

      You know, I can't help but thinking that in another time and another place, Saddam and Dubya would have been good buddies, probably frat brothers. They both have an insatiable appetite for the good life, they both make all their money from oil, they both affect a religious piety when it suits them, they both love to be a "man of the people". This isn't as unlikely as it sounds, George Bush junior once owned a company (Arbusto Energy) jointly with one of Osama bin Laden's many brothers.

      What the world really needs is for one of Dubya's daughters (not Jenna, the other one) and one of Saddam's sons to fall in love. Then, after many Baz Luhrmann-esque antics their fathers can be reconciled, and live happily ever after on a ranch in the sovereign state of Texraq.
    • An obvious forgery, there aren't nearly enough typos, grammatical errors, garbled logic, etc. It is well known that the real GWB write at a 2nd grade level, but this is solid 5th grade stuff. Nice try... :-)
  • by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:51PM (#4548395) Homepage
    Yes, but did he get any business propositions from Nigeria.

    That's what I want to know.
  • Have I been trolled? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] []> on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:51PM (#4548401) Homepage Journal
    Well duh. This is basically the equivilent of someone cracking the "secret" password to Santa's email box on

    This isn't Saddam's address. It's his press handlers address. That's like judging me based on the feedback send to my address.

  • by DCram ( 459805 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:52PM (#4548406)
    How else do you think Saddam got hooked up with Satan! Does anyone else think that Saddam's harsh treatment of satan was just another example of why we should nuke the bastard :)

    It just strikes me funny to think of Saddam illegaly downloading mp3's and such and cackling insanely about driving our economy to the brink.
  • by Gefiltefish11 ( 611646 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:52PM (#4548410)

    TO: Saddam Hussein or unnamed email recipient

    FR: Devry Universit

    Subj: Boost your career with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in nuclear technology!!

  • Woo... (Score:5, Funny)

    by AlephNot ( 177467 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:53PM (#4548427)
    The first time I read the title, I read it as "Saddam's xbox hacked". You can imagine the look of surprise on my face...
  • Could it be a plant? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CoolVibe ( 11466 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @12:58PM (#4548459) Journal
    As in, something some cockamany person set up to "discredit" Iraq more? I'd really like to take a good long hard deep look at the mail headers of mails in the inbox to check for forged stuff...

    I think it's a hoax.

  • _Saddam's_ inbox? (Score:4, Informative)

    by crush ( 19364 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:00PM (#4548484)
    I don't think so. It's clearly marked "Press". To most minds that would indicate that it is the inbox of some PR team.
  • by isa-kuruption ( 317695 ) <> on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:02PM (#4548508) Homepage
    Some CIA agent is now sitting in his office crying because he kept putting off installing that backdoor onto the mail server thinking, "his password will never change!"
  • by Dutchie ( 450420 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:04PM (#4548526) Homepage Journal
    Breaking into a government system constitutes terrorism. I wonder if this applies to breaking into foreign government systems.
  • by bryan1945 ( 301828 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:04PM (#4548527) Journal
    Some California CEO of a wireless tech company wrote- "In a press release dated Sept. 13, the company said it has developed "4G" wireless technology capable of being used "as a weapon to ignite large sections of the atmosphere and incinerate all living creatures within its pre-selected coordinates." "

    And I'll raise you a "5G" and a Death Star
  • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:06PM (#4548554) Homepage

    I hacked Mr Bush's email box, and I found a letter with This Picture [], signed "-- Saddam".

  • by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot ( 227666 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:09PM (#4548589) Journal
    King of the Druids: "One... Two... Three... Four... Five."

    Dark Helmet: "That sounds like the combination an idiot would have on his luggage!"


    President Scrooge: "One two three four five? I can't believe it! I have the same combination on my luggage!"
  • Y2K-Not OK! (Score:5, Funny)

    by phawley ( 8865 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:13PM (#4548641) Homepage
    from article:

    The version of webmail software used by the Iraqi ISP is known to have several security holes -- but the patches available for them do not appear to have been applied.

    from website:

    October28 ,102

    like Y2K? ;)
  • by Theodore Logan ( 139352 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:17PM (#4548677)
    Saddam's personal homepage is right now being subjected to what appears to be a large scale DDOS attack. After Saddam has butchered his sysadmin and the hackers, he's coming for you Jamie...
  • by Dan Crash ( 22904 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:22PM (#4548715) Journal
    Did Brian McWilliams, author of the article, do the actual hacking? Or was he just informed of it by some skript kiddie? The article is mysteriously vague about who did the deed.

    Assuming they did do the hacking, this is ethical... how? Does this mean they figure it's all right to hack into anyone's e-mail and publicize the results? What if it were your e-mail?

    It may have been a nifty trick that someone happened to guess the right password, but as journalism, this is beyond the pale. I'd like to see someone from WIRED News comment a little more specifically on who the hacker was, why his or her name wasn't disclosed, and how WIRED justifies reporting on the hacked contents of an e-mail account, and where they draw the lines.
    • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:43PM (#4548924) Journal
      To play Devil's advocate, from a journalistic point of view, Wired's primary responsibility is to validate the source of the info. Once that is done, you can make a very good case that this is, at least potentially, the sort of thing that People Must Know, which overrides most other considerations.

      The contents were probably awfully mundane, perhaps too much so to qualify for The People Must Know, but one could imagine at least in theory that they might have found something interesting in there.

      There is precedent for this: For a big example, consider the Watergate scandal. The New York Times wasn't "supposed" to be in possession of that material, and they certainly weren't "supposed" to publish it, but The People Must Know overrode their reservations, and most of us would consider that the right decision based on the info they had at the time.

      On the other hand, hacking into my email and telling the world about it would be unethical; there is no need for anybody to know what's in there, so they'd just be rumormongering.

      What, you say this "The People Need To Know" is an awfully fuzzy [] criterion to be using? Damn straight! These ethical things are hard.

      (Remember, I'm playing devil's advocate here; I don't believe it's black and white, but I do think there is a strong kernel of truth here.)
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:24PM (#4548742) Homepage
    Some of these commercial offers might even be considered high treason.

    I hope that all U.S. corporate leaders involved are immediately arrested and charged with treason or some other appropriate offense. This is wrong on so many levels it churns my stomach. The arrogance of these people astound me to no end.

    I sincerely hope this is a hoax but somehow I can see that it's possible.

    If there is truth to U.S. business attempting to solicit business with Saddam Hussein, then I expect to see reports of arrests and investigations in the news. But I can already hear the paper shreading machines in operations and the degausing machines humming...
  • Still vulnerable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m0i ( 192134 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:29PM (#4548788) Homepage
    It looks like is still vulnerable:
    -port 110 is opened
    -it reveals they're running Ipswitch IMail 7.07
    -this software has a known overflow and exploit on the web client side
    - is opened.

    What are their sysadmin waiting to shut down 110/8383? Wake up!

    Side note, it's funny to see that they are running an american OS and mail software..
    • What are their sysadmin waiting to shut down 110/8383? Wake up!

      Somehow, I doubt they're sleeping, nor their families, except in the morbid, metaphorical sense of 'to sleep' that Hamlet uses in his soliloquy. :)
    • Side note, it's funny to see that they are running an american OS and mail software..

      Yes, astoundingly they didn't feel like using anything from the huge Iraqi software market!
  • by coupland ( 160334 ) <> on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:47PM (#4548950) Journal

    The part I thought most comical was the people writing to warn him that the CIA would be after him and to exercise caution, or with ideas on how to win a war. Yes, I'm sure Saddam fired off a hardcopy of that e-mail, brought it to his War Ministry and they all read it in awe.

    "By the grace of Almighty Allah, has shown us the road to salvation!"

    Jeez, people can be so dumb...

  • by Ashurbanipal ( 578639 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @01:53PM (#4549006)
    ...that we have now loosed on Iraq's feeble Internet connection.
  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:09PM (#4549178) Homepage
    That's incredible! I have that same combination on my luggage!
  • by EggplantMan ( 549708 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:10PM (#4549183) Homepage
    Deaths directly linked to the (mis)use of:
    IIs : 1
    Apache : 0

    Is using IIs really worth the risk? Please, think before you deploy IIs.
  • Ominous date (Score:3, Interesting)

    by f97tosc ( 578893 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:15PM (#4549229)
    Attached to the Aug. 6 e-mail was a photograph of an atomic mushroom cloud.' It is probably not a coincidence that Aug 6 was the 1945 date that the nuke was dropped on Hiroshima.

  • by jabber01 ( 225154 ) on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:17PM (#4549242)
    1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5..

    Same as the code on G.W. Bush's luggage.
  • by Jouster ( 144775 ) <[moc.qaflegna] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:39PM (#4549403) Homepage Journal
    So, rather than actually shutting down the ports in question, they just turn off DNS resolution for Of course, their NS entries still exist, and a quick subnet scan on port 8383 (nice of them to choose an odd port number, wasn't it?) reveals that adding
    to your /etc/hosts (or C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts for us Windows users) quite nicely lets us into the webmail system.

    Alas, the user/pass is not "press"/"press", nor a mispelled "sadam"/"sadam". Ah, well.

    • by Jouster ( 144775 ) <[moc.qaflegna] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday October 28, 2002 @02:50PM (#4549512) Homepage Journal
      And for those who care...
      # nmap -vv -P0 -O -p 25,110,8383,8389

      Starting nmap V. 2.54BETA31 ( )
      No tcp,udp, or ICMP scantype specified, assuming vanilla tcp connect() scan. Use -sP if you really don't want to portscan (and just want to see what hosts are up).
      Host ( appears to be up ... good.
      Initiating Connect() Scan against (
      Adding open port 25/tcp
      Adding open port 8383/tcp
      Adding open port 110/tcp
      The Connect() Scan took 12 seconds to scan 4 ports.
      Warning: OS detection will be MUCH less reliable because we did not find at least 1 open and 1 closed TCP port
      For OSScan assuming that port 25 is open and port 33201 is closed and neither are firewalled
      For OSScan assuming that port 25 is open and port 39570 is closed and neither are firewalled
      For OSScan assuming that port 25 is open and port 39827 is closed and neither are firewalled
      Interesting ports on (
      Port State Service
      25/tcp open smtp
      110/tcp open pop-3
      8383/tcp open unknown
      8389/tcp filtered unknown

      No OS matches for host (test conditions non-ideal).
      TCP/IP fingerprint:
      SInfo(V=2.54BETA31%P=i386-redhat-lin ux-gnu%D=10/28 %Time=3DBD8674%O=25%C=-1)
      T1 (Resp=Y%DF=Y%W=564%ACK=S++%Flags=AS%Ops=MNNT)
      T2( Resp=N)
      T6(Re sp=N)

      TCP Sequence Prediction: Class=truly random
      Difficulty=9999999 (Good luck!)
      TCP ISN Seq. Numbers: 5E47AE5C A0B64F86 4F9BF508 BFC8A529 A3713D10 9EA869AA
      IPID Sequence Generation: Busy server or unknown class

      Nmap run completed -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 94 seconds

    • I love it!

      The changes are propogating across DNS now... "" is now a private address in the class A!
      Non-authoritative answer:


  • by James_G ( 71902 ) <james.globalmegacorp@org> on Monday October 28, 2002 @03:44PM (#4550026)
    Saddam's inbox also contained several solicitations from American companies hoping to do business with Iraq -- despite U.S. prohibitions and United Nations trade sanctions.

    To: Saddam, Subject: MAKE MONEY FAST!!!
    To: Saddam, Subject: Generic Viagra! $2.50 each!
    To: Saddam, Subject: Increase your penis size!

    Wouldn't it be so nice to close down spammers because they're breaching UN trade sanctions? Maybe you could even get them charged with treason.. Muahahaha

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.