Thursday, October 09, 2008
David Kernell Indicted As Palin Email Hacker
The son of a Democratic Tennessee state representative was indicted on Wednesday for hacking into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account, according to the Justice Department.
David Kernell, son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, "for intentionally accessing without authorization" Palin's Yahoo e-mail account on Sept. 16.
The single-count indictment says Kernell gained access to the account by resetting the password. Prosecutors say he read messages, made screenshots of the e-mail directory and pages showing Palin's personal information. Kernell then allegedly posted the screenshots as well as the new password on a public website.
Kernell, a 20-year old economics major at the University of Tennessee, has surrendered to authorities and will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Scott McPherson, writing at Computer World isn't a fan of e-mail hackers like Kernell:
Today, a federal grand jury formally indicted one David Kernell, age 20, a student at the University of Tennessee, in the deliberate hacking of the Yahoo email accounts belonging to Alaska Governor Sarah Pailn, the GOP nominee for vice-president of the United States.
Good work, grand jury. Now let the federal prosecutors refuse a deal, convict him on all counts and incarcerate him for the full length of his sentence. Fine him to the $250,000 maximum. And before anyone gives me any nonsense like Anonymous did to the author of the article, I would say the exact same things had he hacked Obama's Blackberry or Biden's home PC.
When arrogant punks -- I am sorry, alleged arrogant punks -- such as Mr. Kernell come along, his actions define criminality. He deliberately stole Ms. Palin's identity in an effort to dig through emails looking for dirt. What he apparently found was a recipe for moose stew -- and a surefire recipe for BIG trouble, plus a lot of prison love to look forward to.
So don't give me any of that claptrap about "Oh, don't be so harsh, the poor boy didn't know that what he was doing was so wrong. Nobody got hurt, so why hate?" Moosecrap. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing. And he was so arrogant about his exploits he posted his criminal success everywhere he could, for all to see.
He is the son of a longtime Democrat state representative. Which immediately escalates this into the realm of a campaign dirty trick, sanctioned or unsanctioned.
Bottom line is this: People such as Mr. Kernell need to be made examples of, in order for cyberspace to be a safer place. Let others learn and heed. Hacking someone's email account is not just unethical, it is CRIMINAL. ILLEGAL.
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