Do Hackers Have Mitt Romney's Tax Returns?

Do hackers have Mitt Romney's tax returns as they claim? Probably not is the short answer.

Here's the full story. Hackers this week posted a manifesto on PasteBin claiming that they stole Mitt Romney's tax returns--and they're holding them for bitcoin ransom. Color most of the media world dubious, even before the statement from  Pricewaterhouse Coopers saying they were unaware of any break-in. But let's admit it:  I was also intrigued, and glad on some level that more attention is going to the missing returns.

Here's an excerpt from the hackers' manifesto, via The Daily Dot, which notes that PasteBin users describe the alleged abduction of the returns as a "Mission Impossible-like caper".

Read the circulating excerpt for yourselves:

Romney's 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney's tax returns before 2010. A scanned signature image for Mitt Romney from the 1040 forms were scanned and included with the packages, taken from earlier 1040 tax forms gathered and stored on the flash drives.

The group is demanding $1 million in bitcoin currency for the confidential return of said returns--otherwise, according to the manifesto, they will be released, with a key to get through the encoding, on September 28. Unfortunately for them, PWC says they don't have any evidence of a break-in, but they are working with the Secret Service.

It may be a hoax, and an ill-conceived extortion attempt, but at least Dr. Evil is a huge fan of this plan.


AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at September 5, 2012, 12:55pm

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