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Romney’s personal e-mail may have been hacked

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Mitt Romney’s campaign said Tuesday that authorities are investigating whether the Republican presidential candidate’s personal e-mail account had been compromised after an anonymous tipster claimed to have hacked into the account.

The website Gawker reported Tuesday that an unidentified person claimed to have broken into Romney’s Hotmail account as well as his account with Dropbox, the file sharing service, by correctly guessing the name of the candidate’s favorite pet.

Within hours, the Romney campaign responded by saying an investigation is underway.

“The proper authorities are investigating this crime and we will have no further comment on it,” campaign communications director Gail Gitcho said in a statement.

Gitcho did not say whether Romney’s account had been compromised — which could be a criminal offense — or whether Romney continues to use the Hotmail account.

Romney’s Hotmail address was made public by the Associated Press, which released a series of e-mails between the then-Massachusetts governor and top aides that the wire service obtained through public records requests.

One of the e-mails released by the AP indicates that Romney may have deactivated his Hotmail account. On Aug. 11, 2006, Romney wrote an e-mail to family and friends announcing that he would be using a new e-mail through his political domain, mittromney.com, and would no longer be using his Hotmail account.

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