Financial information of online campaign donors for Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman has made its way to Wikileaks.org, prompting campaign officials to advise donors to cancel their credit cards.
According to the Star Tribune, the U.S. Secret Service has launched an investigation into how the information ended up online. Officials at Wikileaks.org-the site that last year posted the private e-mail in-box of then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin-published financial and personal information March 11 of supporters of the Coleman campaign.
According to Wikileaks, the information came from a source who said the donor information had been available on the Internet since January and accused the Coleman campaign of failing to report the breach to the public. The site posted the names, street addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of roughly 51,000 donors, as well as the last four digits of credit card numbers belonging to 4,721 supporters.
"Although politically interesting in their own right, the lists, which are part of an enormous 4.3Gb database leak from the Coleman campaign, provide proof to the rumors that sensitive information-including thousands of supporters' credit card numbers-were put onto the Internet on January 28 as a result of sloppy handling," Wikileaks said in a statement on its site.
The news comes as Coleman remains embroiled in a contentious battle to win back his seat. Coleman is in the process of challenging a recount that put his opponent, Democrat Al Franken, ahead by 225 votes.
Wikileaks sent e-mails to the impacted donors yesterday to notify them of the situation, and the Coleman campaign followed up with notifications of its own.