November 18, 2002

spam saddam

Writer Hacks Emails Sent to Saddam

Even Saddam Hussein gets spam.

He also gets e-mail purporting to be from U.S. companies offering business deals, and threats, according to a journalist who figured out a way into an Iraqi government e-mail account and downloaded more than 1,000 messages.

Brian McWilliams, a free-lancer who specializes in Internet security, says he hardly needed high-level hacking skills to snoop through e-mail addressed to Saddam.

I don’t know how seriously to take this, as the whole story rides on the word of McWilliams.

The CEO of a California wireless technology company e-mailed Saddam to request a meeting, suggesting they could discuss “technology improvements and exporting of rich technology aboard,” McWilliams said.

He said the company, which he did not identify, claimed to have developed wireless technology capable of “igniting large sections of the atmosphere”. But when McWilliams called the company he was told it contacted Saddam only to get permission to put a communication antenna in Iraq.

He also found interview requests from journalists and obscene messages from angry Americans. One man who identified himself as a former U.S. paratrooper wrote that he would welcome an invitation to finish what he started during the Gulf War.

“I deeply regret that a political solution was made before my friends and I had a chance to completely wipe your cartoon character of a leader o(f)f the face of this earth,” he wrote. “What sort of despot actually boasts of assa(ss)inations and the willful slaughter of the people he means to rule?”

But the account also attracted admirers, including someone writing from Austria who called Americans arrogant and told Saddam that if the United States attacked Iraq, “you need only send a ticket and I will come to Iraq to fight Americans.”

“I am a good shot, and I am serious about my offer,” the Vienna resident wrote.

Funny. I thought it was the Americans who were supposed to be braying for blood. Silly me.