Earlier today, someone claiming to be associated with hacker group Anonymous posted two documents on Pastebin: one outlined a Mission Impossible-esque document heist from PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Tennessee offices, which allegedly netted Mitt Romney’s much-coveted tax returns; the other demanded a ransom of a million dollars — in Bitcoins — that could be paid to either expedite or prevent their release:
Romney’s 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied.
A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney’s tax returns before 2010.
The part of the story about the USB drive, at least, has been confirmed.
The posts and scenario are bizarre enough to warrant deep skepticism. PWC, however, is taking them seriously. In a statement to BuzzFeed FWD, communications director Chris Atkins explained:
We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems. We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question.
Asked whether they had been able to rule anything out, or if he felt any of the claims were credible, Atkins said: “The statement is the statement.”