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Hackers take another jab at Tories on heels of Harper choking hoax

Supports line to get their pre-approved passes to a Conservative election rally in Hamilton on April 7, 2011.

Moe Doiron/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

One or more hackers is repeatedly tormenting the Conservative Party of Canada as it prepares for a convention starting Thursday where party stalwarts are gathering to celebrate their majority government victory.

A day after someone hacked into the Conservative Party website to post a false announcement about Stephen Harper, a Twitter user claims to have also broken into Tories' donor database - posting names and emails that they said were stolen from the trove of private data.

On Tuesday, the party's website was defaced with a fake story about how Mr. Harper was rushed to hospital after choking on a hash brown. A Twitter user, with the account name LulzRaft, took credit for the stunt.

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The Tory Party's spokesman, Fred DeLorey, insisted at the time that there had been no breach of its "database and email systems."

On Wednesday morning, however, LulzRaft had more to announce: "The Conservatives said no contributor data was accessed..I wonder where this sample came from then!," LulzRaft tweeted, linking to a web page that listed names and email addresses purported to be a "small sample" of Tory party "donation contributors."

The post on the text-sharing website Pastebin was removed later Wednesday morning.

Mr. DeLorey acknowledged that hackers had successfully stolen data on donors who contributed online. "The information contains names, addresses, and email addresses of people who donated online through our web host," he said in a statement.

"In some instances the first four and last four digits of the credit card were taken, but no useful credit card information was taken."

He suggested those responsible may be linked to recent hacks on Sony, Nintendo, and PBS.

"We will be reviewing our own practices and will make the necessary changes to prevent something like this happening in the future."

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Mr. DeLorey said the party was upset by the incident. "We are very disturbed by this hacking and will continue our internal investigation, as well as work with the authorities on this matter."

He said the Tories will contact affected donors, but played down privacy concerns.

"Though most of this information is readily available on the Elections Canada site, we will nonetheless be getting in touch with all of the people whose data was taken."

The Twitter account user LulzRaft also made fun of the hash-brown incident Wednesday, suggesting they were responsible for defacing Husky Energy's website to post a message offering free fuel for Tories.

"Due to yesterdays Harper hoax, we feel it is necessary to show Conservatives that we care. So today, June 8, we will be providing free gas to all conservatives. Just use the coupon code 'hash-browns'," the message said.

The false message on was quickly removed. The fuel company operates gas stations in western Canada.

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The Lulzcraft Twitter account denied the mischief was motivated by a dislike of the Conservative Party in particular. "The dots connected by the media are imaginary. No discrimination by party...we just don't like politicians," one tweet said.

On Tuesday, the Conservative Party's website was defaced with a note headlined: "Prime Minister Rushed to Hospital After Breakfast Incident." It claimed Mr. Harper was taken to "Toronto General Hospital this morning after an incident at breakfast."

It said he was brought by helicopter to hospital after his wife called 911 and that he had choked on a hash brown while having breakfast with his children.

His security staff had performed first-aid, the false report said, trying to unblock the Prime Minister's airway. It went on to say his condition would be monitored.

The Prime Minister's staff quickly proved the stunt release false Tuesday, noting Mr. Harper had taken his daughter to school that morning.

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