Feeds

Feds search Palin hack suspect's flat

Investigators interrupt student party

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Federal investigators served a search warrant on a suspect in the Sarah Palin webmail hack case in the early hours of Sunday morning.

They reportedly interrupted a student party to search the apartment of David Kernell, 20, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Reports of the raid itself remain confused amid reports that Kernell and his flatmates fled the scene.

No charges have been filed against Kernell or anyone else yet, but his three roommates have been served with court summons, Wired reports. A grand jury is reportedly due to convene and consider the case in Chattanooga on Tuesday.

Kernell - son of state democrat rep Mike Kernell - came to the attention of the feds after his email address was linked to an admission in a post on the 4Chan discussion board made under the pseudonym of Rubico.

Rubico claimed he was easily able to break into the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate's email account after resetting her password to popcorn, after a modicum of internet research and a little guesswork turned up the likely responses the three challenge questions needed. Palin's date of birth, zip address and information on where she met her husband were all that were needed to reset the gov.palin@yahoo.com account.

Not much of political substance was revealed by the attack. Screenshots of the webmail account posted on the net showed the hacker used a web proxy service called Ctunnel.com in an attempt to cover his tracks. But he slipped up badly by posting the full URL of screenshots. As previously reported, Ctunnel.com Gabriel Ramuglia is in touch with federal investigators and willing to turn over Ctunnel.com logs, a move likely to yield valuable clues.

The affair highlights concerns about how easy it might be to reset a target's webmail account. Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail all use similar systems. Political questions have also been raised by Palin's use of a webmail account on government business.

Virus writers have wasted little time in posting booby-trapped webpages that pose as screenshot's from Palin's email account, net security firm Aladdin Knowledge Systems reports. Palin aides shut down the account following the attack. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.