Much buzz has been created by reports that US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax returns have been hacked. While some are doubtful about the veracity of the reports, a source revealed that the unidentified hackers have divulged the theft on Pastebin, a data dump website.
The hackers have left no proof but merely an elaborate description of how they were able to enter the office of PriceWaterhouseCooper in Tennessee and retrieve the unreleased tax returns of the GOP candidate on 25 August.
Authorities may impose punishment on the hackers, whether or not they are telling the truth, as an attempted blackmail of a presidential candidate is regarded a serious offence in itself.
To find out if the claims are true, the Secret Service is currently probing the case to trace the identity of those responsible for the breach. The hackers are holding the documents and asking for a ransom of US$1 million (£628,714) in bitcoins, an online currency that is difficult to trace and identify.
The hackers gave Romney’s team until 28 September to transfer US$1 million (£628,714) bitcoins or the hacked tax returns will either be released on Pastebin for the entire world to view or they might sell the information to the highest bidder.
Investigation into the matter is underway. The Secret Service has yet to verify if such an incident indeed occurred, but tracing the hackers could take a long time.