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Sweden's Watergate 179

Posted by kdawson
from the all's-fair-in-politics? dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Sweden's ruling Social Democratic Party's internal network has been illegally accessed several hundred times over a period of several months. Party treasurer Tommy Ohlstroem describes the incident as "wide-scale and systematic." Computer security company Sentor's investigation has revealed intrusions originating from computers belonging to Sweden's Liberal Party, and with the upcoming election in only two weeks many commentators are already describing this as Sweden's Watergate (Swedish only). An employee of the Young Liberals has admitted to unauthorized access, but a series of mysterious coincidences in the form of exceptionally well timed public announcements by the Liberal Party suggests the involvement of more than one person."
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Sweden's Watergate

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  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:17PM (#16038636) Homepage Journal
    saying 'Liberal' in Sweden is not the same as saying 'liberal' in the USA. Of the two major Swedish political parties, the liberals are the more right leaning. In the US however, both swedish parties however would be generally considered to be left of the Democrats.

    (Generally, I don't find terms like 'left' or 'right' helpful for a serious political discussion, but it will do for slashdot)
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by creimer (824291)
      I guess that's why the ghost of Richard Nixon is being invoked here. Nothing scarier than America's favorite political boogyman.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Richard Nixon isn't nearly as scary as Bush. I guess when someone compares some political abuse to Bush you'll claim the same about Bush. Do you complain the same way when people bring up Hoover?
        • by creimer (824291)
          The reference to Richard Nixon was because of the Watergate reference. Nixon will always hold a special place in the American political psyche as the first president to resign from the office. As for Bush, he'll be another forgotten president just like Hoover.
          • by ppanon (16583)
            Heh, you wish. I saw a really funny bumper sticker on a recent-model Volvo sedan when driving through the Seattle area recently. It said:

            I miss Nixon.

            P.S. Being in Canada, so far, I miss Joe Clarke and Trudeau. The Conservatives should worry about me thinking that I miss Mulroney.
          • by Doc Ruby (173196)
            People who forgot Hoover, his Great Depression, his "Hoovervilles" of refugee shanty camps, will forget any president not worshipped like a god (Reagan/Kennedy/FDR) or demonized (Nixon/Carter). We have 2 more years in which anything can happen to brand Bush into the American psyche. But I think he'll be remembered for generations, as his legacy will last for dozens if not hundreds of years.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      OK, ok. I admit it. You were right and I was wrong. Would you please change your sig?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by grimJester (890090)
      To elaborate, in Sweden both 'conservative' and 'liberal' are considered right wing, with liberal = economy liberal = market forces know best and conservative = social conservative = think of the children.

      Right = anti-immigration, being tough on crime, corporate interests etc. Racism to keep the rabble happy while the rich suck them dry.
      • by Engine (86689)
        Calling any of the four major right wing parties in Sweden racists is just bullshit. I can't believe this post is moderated informative. Even though they are proposing that immigrants should be required to take part in swedish education to benefit from the full social service, they are not against immigration. And certainly not racists! It was the left wing in sweden that warned about "social tourism" a few years back.

        I'll actually vote for a left wing party september 17, but I can not stand see such nonsen
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Per Wigren (5315)

        Right = anti-immigration, being tough on crime, corporate interests etc. Racism to keep the rabble happy while the rich suck them dry.

        I'm Swedish and I'm pretty leftist, but that is plain FUD.

        Anti-immigration and racism:
        It holds true to the extreme right-wing parties that are not in the Swedish Riksdag, such as Nationaldemokraterna (openly racist, pseudo-nazi party), Sverigedemokraterna (ultra-nationalists) and such, but not the etablished right-wing parties. If you count HBQT-intolerance (homo/bi/queer/tra

    • by Mindjiver (71) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:59PM (#16038856) Homepage
      The largest party in sweden would be the social democrats, the second largest party are Moderaterna, the liberal party would be the third largest. And your placement of the parties on an american left-right-scale is not entirely true either.

      - Social Democrates, pragmatic power party with an emphasis on a large welfare state and a regulated labour market.
      - Moderates, previously somewhat conservative that now have triangulated the social democrates more or less totally.
      - Peoples Party - Liberals, Social-liberal party that now could be placed to the right of the moderates.

      Since there are seven major parties in sweden instead of two large coalitions like in the United States I find it hard to compare them to either the democrats or the republicans. For example it is hard to find any great amount protectionism in any of the parties platforms, but all favour a welfare state with socialized medicine for example. So you are over-simplifying things a bit too much! :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The reason why you cannot compare the parties in Sweden with the Democrats and the Republicans is that the social democrats is a party of the workers movement (their name is actually "the workers party social democrats"). The basis of the social democratic party is in the peoples movements (tennants associations, tradeunions, cooperative enterprises, temperance movement, student unions, the peoples education movement, etc.), which consists of millions of people and are controlled by the social democrats (th
      • by gkhan1 (886823)

        My fellow parent swede is obviously correct, there is no direct correlation to the Rep's and the Dem's of the United States, mostly because the entire swedish political spectrum is shifted very much to the left. However, to clarify for our american friends, there are indeed two political "blocks", the red parties (the lefties) and the blue parties (the righties, that is the colours are reversed compared to in the states). The left consists of the Social Democrats, the Left-party and the Environmental (gree

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SirBruce (679714)
          The association of Red=Republican and Blue=Democrat in the states is actually a rather recent development. In the past, different media organizations used red and blue as they saw fit; quite often, they were swapped. Only with the Bush/Gore race in 2000 and the phrase "Red State America" has the color association become standardized.

          Bruce
    • George Bush(es), Thatcher, Reagan all espouse(d) a classicly liberal economics - belief in unfettered the free market economy. Socially they may be highly conservative...

      Chec out http://www.politicalcompass.org/ [politicalcompass.org] for a new way of looking at ideas of left/right/liberal/conservative.
      • by drsmithy (35869)
        George Bush(es), Thatcher, Reagan all espouse(d) a classicly liberal economics - belief in unfettered the free market economy.

        The current US Government (ie: George Bush) is about as protectionist as they come...

    • by Opie812 (582663) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:28PM (#16039010)
      saying 'Liberal' in Sweden is not the same as saying 'liberal' in the USA.

      I'm no expert, but I'd suggest that the United States is the only country in the world where 'liberal' is a derogatory term.
      • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @03:29AM (#16042704)
        Yep. Just like "intellectual".

        *sigh*

        • by retrosteve (77918)
          Yep. Just like "intellectual". Don't worry, there's plenty of good precedent for that. "Intellectual" has been a bad word many times, in lots of regimes the US would be proud to emulate, such as:
          • Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia
          • the "Cultural Revolution" in China
          • ...bunch I can't think of here, and
          • of course Orwell's 1984.
          Good start, USA.
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        A useful way to think of the term liberal, is big 'L' Liberal for political parties that believe the state should not interfere in the paid for right of the minority rich to exploit the majority poor, other than of course, legally and violently enforcing that inherited privilege.

        While small 'l' liberal relates to liberal and free thinkers, people who are far more likely to believe in social democracy (again ignore political party labelling abuses), that is, responsible government is about striving to achie

    • To be fair are they any true leftist parties anywhere in western democracy? And I'm talking powerfull parties either in government or opposition. There are many that claim to be but as soon as they get in power the ideals that got them elected seem to dissapear and they follow exactly the same policy as a 'right wing' party.
      • There's plenty of leftist parties in western democracy, and some right wing ones. The leftist ones might not enforce personal freedoms as well as they should, but the same is true of the right wing parties and reduced spending/free market. So, they both stick to regulating more in their area (economical/personal), but they begin regulating the other area too.
    • I have investigated this further... It seems like one can easily login as guest/guest or in this case someones name repeated as both password and username. I think it says more of the actuall negligence of security protocolls from the social democratic party.
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      It depends what you mean... for example, G. W. Bush proposed a plan to allow people in the U.S. to invest some of their social security deductions... this was characterized as some sort of Right Wing Plot to Impoverish Our Seniors by the left in the U.S. ... At the same time, Bush's plan was largely based on a plan in Sweden that had support from the Social Democrats (which should supposedly be left of U.S. Democrats).

      So you have the left wing in the United States, accusing the right wing of the United Stat
      • by ArsonSmith (13997)
        Bush's social security reform was shot down mearly because it was "Bush's social security reform" It was nothing but good for a broken system. You even see Democrats cheering that they shot it down. Not that they fixed anything just that they were able to make it not pass out of pure spite for GWB. With all the crap that GWB does, he has one decent plan and the Dems shot it down. No I'm not bitter.

        • by tbannist (230135)
          What makes you think it was a decent plan? The idea seems solid, until you look at the details and realize it was planned to fail. Sometimes an idea gets shot down based on the implementation plan being aweful and unfixable.
    • by Doc Ruby (173196)
      "Liberal" really means essentially "of/for/from/with freedom", the reason "liberal" and "liberty" sound so similar. It usually is in reference to some existing/previous condition of constraint. "Trade liberalism" means unregulated trade. "Liberal" as in socialism or just America's government mediation of economics or society means freedom from oppression generally. Ironically many people think that kind of freedom is produced by less freedom to oppress, which often translates to just less freedom when the b
      • by ppanon (16583)
        There hasn't been a Progressive Conservative party in Canada for a few years now.
        • by Doc Ruby (173196)
          So they neither stayed the same nor moved into the future. Canny Canadians, with your common sense. Balanced by your "open minds", which actually voted the PCs (hah) into power in Ontario.
      • by tbannist (230135)
        In case you didn't know the "Progressive Conservative Party" was formed by the merger of the "The Progressive Party" and "The Conservative Party". Progressive Conservative was actually a decent name for them, they tended to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They no longer exist, they merged with "The Alliance Party" which was formerly known as the Reform party and almost known as the Conservative Reform Alliance Party, but someone tried to make a t-shirt with the acronym and realized it would
    • ...a Swedish Liberal is more like a Canadian Liberal, which is to say that a Liberal doesn't really have any concrete principles except to say and do whatever might help them achieve and maintain power ;-)

      As others have observerd here, politics outside the US is far more complicated than "left and right" (hell, even US politics has more dimension than that, though the fact that only two parties have power simplifies things). Even the Canadian landscape is far different politically and in some ways mirrors
      • by makomk (752139)
        ...a Swedish Liberal is more like a Canadian Liberal, which is to say that a Liberal doesn't really have any concrete principles except to say and do whatever might help them achieve and maintain power ;-)

        So, in other words you reckon they're like the British "New Labour"...
      • by Pope (17780)
        emoving the word "God" from our anthem

        I see nothing wrong with that, considering it wasn't even there until 1979 or so. We had a perfectly decent secular national anthem, and some idiots had to ruin it.
        • by WebCowboy (196209)
          I see nothing wrong with that, considering it wasn't even there until 1979 or so.

          You obviously are ignorant of Canadian history. "O Canada", our current official national anthem, was originally written in French, and no less tha FOUR different English versions were in common use (dubbed the Richardson, McCulloh, Buchan and the Weir versions--named after the author of the lyrics for each). ALL but one--the popular Weir version--mentioned "God" at least once in the first verse, and even the Weir version men
  • by DoktorTomoe (643004) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:34PM (#16038727)
    ... over here, not members of opposing parties are opening the respective other boxes, but email is illegaly read by members of the own conservative party CDU without consent... See http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/77680 [heise.de] for further information (or Googlelated [google.com])
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:35PM (#16038732)
    Just before 2006's Hungarian Parliamentary Election, the Hungarian Socialist Party accused the Alliance of Young Democrats with accessing the private server of theirs. The "proof" was a screenshot from a Win2003 server log showing the host belonging to the party. The accused party countered by showing proof that their internal site was systematically accessed by the other party, also showing logs.

    The internal server of the Socialist Party turned out to be a password protected http server containing some upcoming promotional campaign pictures, with some trivial password like hsp:redflower. The pass somehow leaked and thousands of other people viewed it, myself included, before it became a "scandal" and "proof of hacking" and "ServerGate".

    I hope the swedish parties are more grown up than to play stupid games like that and I hope the swedish public is more educated than the hungarian, so that they can tell if nothing extraordinarily happened, just some PR hype..
    • Addendum: The Hungarian Socialist Party is used to be called the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (the state party before the fall of the iron curtain), before it got "unfashionable". They are socialist only in their name, in reality they lean towards serving the interests of corporations and the wealthy.

      The Alliance of Young Democrats is just a name, the party started in 1988 in a college. They have been the main government party before and they are the main opposition party now. They cannot said to be
    • by jiushao (898575)

      I hope the swedish parties are more grown up than to play stupid games like that and I hope the swedish public is more educated than the hungarian, so that they can tell if nothing extraordinarily happened, just some PR hype.

      A little from column A and a little from column B, the username and password used to illegally access the site were much too simple, but the site does contain extremely sensitive information such as classified reports from the security police. Overall I think it is fair to say that

    • by Jugalator (259273)
      The person from the liberal youth party has already come forward with this so it's known it happened.

      He claims in turn that he got the user credentials (well, just really needed a user name because the password was the same :-p) from this targetted socialist party's youth party, SSU. This was flat out denied by them. So right now it's pretty much impossible who of them is lying, but one of them are anyway. If SSU indeed handed out this info (sounds strange given it's for their own party, but who knows, it c
  • by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:41PM (#16038760) Homepage Journal
    1, 84 times not hundred of times.

    2. If was done by ONE member of the LUF - not the Liberal Party - LUF is the youth organisations associated with the Liberal Party.

    3. He did it by trying to login using the same password as the username and other simple methods - and cracked 3 accounts. Socialist party had not a very secure system.

    4. The journalist claims ha was approached by a member of the liberal party who showed him how to accces the webbsite on a cyber cafe. That member claimed that many within the Liberal party know about it. Even though as far is known only 1(one) person did know about it.

    5. The journalist was/is a active member of the Socialist party youth section.

    6. The socialist party has know about this break-in for some time.

    7. The disclosure was made the same night as the major candidate to take over as prime minister was on TV being questioned - the leader of the Moderate party. (swedish right wing - but more like US democrats)

    9. The Socialistic party has before had an politician send emails pretending to be the Moderate party leader to journalists - trying to make it sound like the party leader was an idiot - and the socialist party member got fired in a scandal.

    There is an election this month in Sweden. The alleged crime was committed last year and until mars this year but not publicly known until now just before the election.

    You take your pick of who has done most to use this to win the election.

    • You forgot the best part:

      The "break in" was basically the use of a username and password they had gotten from one of the Socialist Democrat employees... Not the 1337-ass hacking one might expect!
      • > The "break in" was basically the use of a username and password they had gotten from one of
        > the Socialist Democrat employees... Not the 1337-ass hacking one might expect!

        Social engineering is a very well known way to hack into a system. Of course, this
        type of attack is beyond the average script kiddie that barely is able to download
        a script they don't understand.
    • Try again:

      There are two people who have confessed, so far.

      Both of them belong to the youth organization, one of them is press secretary on the national level. In Sweden the youth organizations play an important role in the election campaign, and "youth" is anyone under 40. This guy works close to the party leader, and even closer to other minister wannabies.

      The logins were made from one IP, which can be tied to this guy, 84 times until March. They continued after that, but not from tracable IPs (so the guy
    • You sound like a script kiddie trying to rationalize his actions.

      The fact is that an _employee_ of a party (Folkpartiet) hacked into their
      _political opponents_ networks to spy upon them, and that was done many times
      over several months.

      Your comments about "misleading statements" are nothing but a deception to draw
      the attention away from the above fact and start slandering the reporter.

    • by Alef (605149)
      3. He did it by trying to login using the same password as the username and other simple methods - and cracked 3 accounts. Socialist party had not a very secure system.

      Indeed. But how is that relevant? Is breaking and entering less of a crime if the key was found under the door mat?

    • by Alef (605149)
      9. The Socialistic party has before had an politician send emails pretending to be the Moderate party leader to journalists

      I believe this information is incorrect. The emailer in question did not impersonate the moderate party leader. He emailed anonymous slander to journalists.

      Not that I care too much, but since you titled your post "Many misleading statements" and did get "5 Informative" for it...

  • Hooray!
  • I saw this thread's title "Sweden's Watergate" right after reading "Debian Kicks Jörg Schilling"; so I naturally assumed it was a dupe.
    • by Brobock (226116)
      I saw this thread's title "Sweden's Watergate" right after reading "Debian Kicks Jörg Schilling"; so I naturally assumed it was a dupe.

      And you did this when "Jörg Schilling" isn't even a Swedish name. What the hell they are all the same right?
  • by nih (411096)
    it was probably a møøse!
  • Noone cares (Score:1, Troll)

    by Caine (784) *
    Seriously, this is not that big of a deal. Not that many people in Sweden cares. One of the major newspaper did a survey and over 70% of the people said they either did not care or that it didn't change what they would vote for.
    • by mntdewdan (997925)
      If 30% care or change in any electorate is a huge deal! Since Sweden is proportional voting, and if you look at the wikipedia numbers it appears they have 144 seats of 349. They only need another 31 seats to have the majority, and 31 seats is only 9% of the electorate, it appears that it is possible that a 30% swing has the potential to pick up enough seats to get a majority.
    • by Hast (24833)
      And to be quite frank. I don't consider "Expressen" a newspaper. They represent the "Fox News" of Swedish papers, although without the political bias. (They are not so much biased as fucking stupid.)

      They are more concerned about which wannabe star got drunk in a pub for other sad wannabes than actual news. It's sad really, it used to be a world-class photojournalism paper.
  • by ettlz (639203) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:17PM (#16038941) Journal

    Hee bor shteer, bom bor shteer doo,
    A dish-pi-doo.
    Bor bor shteer, lum bor shteer doo,
    Bork! Bork! Bork!

    Shteer!

    Sheeba shleeba goo, dish mooga hacken PC. Ung gish libo hacken PC, mish gee looder bouffer ooverfloo. Gee pish der bouffer ooverfloo mish der leety scripty in der shellcode mik joo inken Intel assoumbler. Fish, ung gish leeber scannen porten mooga funky nmap, bish der open port shif lish der foorwoll. Dish skel loder mish der leety scripty, spur gifor der bouffer ooverfloo, ung desh ooger morgen der stackenschmoosher! Ung gesh, mooga dish spur lorger hacken PC!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tinkerton (199273)
      Not bad enough I'm afraid :)
    • by diffuze (98862)
      *LMAO* Oh please mod the parent up!!
      I'm laughing so the tears flood the keyboard here..!

      "Fish, ung gish leeber scannen porten mooga funky nmap, bish der open port shif lish der foorwoll."

      A fresh mix between a drunk dutch, the swedish chef and Jar-Jar.

      • by ettlz (639203)
        A fresh mix between a drunk dutch, the swedish chef and Jar-Jar.

        That's fightin' talk!

  • February 17 Minister for Schools and Adult Education Ibrahim Baylan released the report "Ten myths about the Swedish school". The same day Jan Björklund, the Swedish Liberal Party's education spokeman counterattacked, with the report "Ten truths about the school".

    According to today's industry willed Baylan placed forward a report about the school during the weekend as gone. Last Saturday the done party leader Lars Leijonborg and Minister for Schools and Adult Education challenging clean Jan Björk
  • b0rk! b0rk! b0rk!!
  • ... in twenty-ish years, the people disgraced and chastened here will -- having nursed the interpretation that they were betrayed by democracy -- worm their way back into power, un-do any reforms that this sparks, and then lead Sweden into a disastrous war of choice under false pretenses lobbed against an isolated tinhorn dictator who was not not complicit in a major terrorist attack on their country. Bonus points if the tinhorn dictator happens to have been immplicated in a bizarre plot to assasinate the
  • by Zarhan (415465) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:00PM (#16039452)
    ...how is the Pirate Party (www.piratpartiet.se) coming out in the polls recently? Any swedes who could tell us?
    • While I haven't seen any recent polls on them specifically, they will almost certainly have no impact whatsoever. To get a seat in parliament, you need atleast 4% of the popular vote (this is to weed out small, very fringe parties, such as nazis and pirates ;) and in the last election, around 5.3 million people voted. 4% of 5.3 million is 212000 votes. They have no chance in hell of getting that many.

      Much more interesting are two other tiny parties, FI (feministic initiative) and a party that's called the

  • Yet another reason to vote for Piratpartiet!
    hands up!
  • CBS News report on Watergate from 1972-06-19.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=I28mQEVJQso [youtube.com]
  • What's scary isn't that someone now identified managed to enter their internal network containing very sensitive information from the Swedish security police about politican protection, but that said network had a user with maximum privilegies with his password the same as his username... :-p And it was not changed at a minimum for a half year period. The socialist party shouldn't just worry about this now -- at least the liberal youth party has come forward with this and the person is now identified -- but
  • From Swedish media it is evident that the Social democrats server was
    protected by username/password. In this case one of the persons with
    access to sensitive information had choosen password exactly equal to
    his username.

    In the corporate world this kind of passwords is a big no no and would
    be considerd reckless. The Swedish Social Democrats is now making a big
    deal out of an allmost criminal negligance by their own people.

    Could this be due to their unfavourable opinion polls close to the
    election on the 17th th

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