Bathrooms in Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign headquarters feature some unusual decor: Reminders about good password hygiene. One sign hung above a urinal reads “You wouldn’t share your toothbrush, don’t share your password,” Politico reported earlier this week, citing an unnamed source “familiar with the men’s room.”
Politico describes the signs as a “gallows humor” effort by campaign manager Robby Mook, but it’s also important security advice during an election cycle in which hacks and leaks have dominated headlines.
In recent weeks, WikiLeaks has posted caches of what it says are messages from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s personal Gmail account. And there's at least one glaring password security mistake among the emails leaked so far: Podesta had his former assistant email him his Apple ID and password.
Users on the /pol/ board of 4chan — a mostly anonymous forum where members are fond of posting pro-Donald Trump memes — discovered the log-in information quickly and claimed to have used it to remotely wipe Podesta’s Apple devices.
Podesta’s Twitter account was also hacked to display a tweet supporting Trump’s candidacy that also contained an apparent reference to the /pol/ board.
But the Podesta emails are just the latest in a string of hacks that have primarily targeted the Democratic Party, including a breach at the Democratic National Committee that resulted in then-chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (D-Fla.) resignation.
The U.S. government has publicly accused Russian government-backed hackers of carrying out the DNC hack in an effort to influence the upcoming election. Russia has denied the charge.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Politico report — and whether the password security signs are also present in women's restrooms.
(Disclosure: This reporter previously worked at the Center for American Progress, an organization founded by John Podesta.)