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William Petzäll's account, together with thousands of others, were hacked

Journalists' passwords posted on twitter

Updated tisdag 25 oktober 2011 kl 18.30
Published tisdag 25 oktober 2011 kl 12.02
"Very serious"
(1:55 min)
Lawyer says that former Sweden Democrat William Petzäll's twitter account was hijacked. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix

An account on the micro blog Twitter, that is said to belong to the former Sweden Democrat and now independent Member of Parliament William Petzäll, has posted passwords to several reporters' email accounts at the tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet. Now the two newspapers have reported the incident to the National Intelligence Service for suspected computer hacking. But Petzäll's lawyer says his twitter account had been hijacked.

And several media outlets are now reporting that the usernames and passwords that were posted on Sweden Democrat William Petzäll’s twitter account may come from an earlier hacker attack. 

It emerged today that a Swedish blog portal has been hacked. Bloggtoppen.se, with 90,000 registered users, was hacked and personal information spread, including usernames and passwords.

The hacked site has now been closed down and users are recommended to ensure that they are not using the same password anywhere else.

Petzäll, as well as other politicians, journalists, and well-known people were on the list. The passwords in the document are the same as Petzäll’s twitter account posted on Tuesday. This could explain why his twitter account was attacked.

Beginning on Monday, several twitter posts claiming to come from William Petzäll accused the Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder and party leader Jimmie Åkesson of having had "complete access to what reporters at Aftonbladet and Expressen had in their email".

But the Sweden Democrats deny all involvement. Both Expressen and Aftonbladet say the passwords that were posted were used at one time, but are no longer in use. Still they say it is a serious offense.

"It's very serious that someone unlawfully took passwords of journalists' email accounts. There can be information in those accounts that thwarts journalists investigations and there can be information that risks the protection of sources, that several editorial staffs have had exposed,” says the Editor-in-Chief of Expressen, Thomas Matsson.

The legal council to Petzäll, Anna Heurlin, tells Aftonbladet that Petzäll is not tweeting today, and has no access to his email or telephone. That is most likely because MP William Petzäll was involuntarily admitted to treatment for drug abuse last week. The social services in his local council found the step was necessary. Petzäll does not agree to the treatment, but on Friday a court of appeals upheld the decision.

Twenty-three-year-old Petzäll gained a seat in parliament with the Sweden Democrats during last year's election. In September this year, he became an independent MP, thereby resisting his party's pleas to resign after he had relapsed into substance abuse.

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