A potential PR nightmare (not to mention a security nightmare) was set off earlier this week when email hackers obtained Republican VP hopeful Sarah Palin’s email login and posted some of her emails on the internet.

Slate reports that: “Sometime on Tuesday, an unknown hacker gained access to gov.palin@yahoo.com, an e-mail account that Sarah Palin has used for personal and possibly also state business in Alaska. The hacker posted the e-mail password to the /b/ group of 4Chan, a discussion site known as a haven for Web “trolls,” and for a brief while, Palin was an open book. 4Chan readers trudged through her inbox, saving screen shots of her correspondence with friends and supporters, a list of her frequent contacts, and pictures of her family.”

It’s a security issue as well as a privacy issue, the article continues. “Critics say she was taking a page from Karl Rove, who cooked up the idea of using an off-site e-mail address to confound investigations of his activities in the Bush administration.”

Read the full story at Slate here.