Tech Report: How Petraeus Tried To Avert An Email Trail

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A Yahoo! email screen image. (CBS)

A Yahoo! email screen image. (CBS)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— As the scandal that led to David Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA continues to unfold, we’ve learned more about the steps he and his alleged mistress attempted to avoid leaving an email trail by communicating through drafts from a single email account.

Only thing is they ended up getting caught and their method wasn’t foolproof. It’s similar across the board in email platforms including Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail, where you can compose a message and save it as a draft rather than sending as an email.

The only way for any layman to see that draft is if you have the log-in information for that account. This method has been used by people who are trying to cover their tracks, be it terrorists or teenagers. And this is exactly what they did. They shared account information in order to communicate with one another via email drafts.

KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid Reports:

It is less traceable since there’s a smaller trail, but not an undetectable one. The problem with it being far from foolproof is that it’s still on a server or on a cloud as accessible information. If you really want to keep a secret, don’t put it online. You’d be better off whispering into someone’s ear.


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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