Feeds

Grand jury fails to level charges in Palin hack case

Investigation continues

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A Tennessee grand jury considering the Sarah Palin webmail hacking case completed its meeting on Tuesday without returning charges against the key suspect in the case, the student son of a state politician. Prosecutors said an investigation into the case remains ongoing.

Law enforcement officials carried out a search on an appartment shared by David Kernell, 20, a University of Tennessee student, in the early hours of Sunday morning. The authorities are investigating the compromising of a Yahoo! webmail account, maintained by the Republican vice presidential candidate, last week.

Posts on the 4Chan discussion board, using the pseudonym of Rubico, admitting responsibility for the Palin hack and explaining how it was carried out by abusing Yahoo's password recovery feature, were linked back to Kernell's email address. His father, state democrat rep Mike Kernell, admitted his son was a target in the investigation.

Little of political interest was exposed by the attack on Palin's gov.palin@yahoo.com webmail account, which was closed down shortly after the attack.

Screenshots made during the attack and posted onto the net revealed that the Ctunnel.com web proxy service was used in the attack. Because the full URL was included in these screenshots it's more likely that investigators will be able to trace back the IP address of the computer involved in the hack by going through Ctunnel's logs.

The three young people who share a flat with Kernell were each served with a summons over the weekend and testified behind closed doors at the Chattanooga grand jury hearing on Tuesday.

There are multiple potential sources of evidence in the case. It could be that important elements, in particular results of a forensic examination of any computer equipment seized on the raid on Kernell's flat, aren't ready yet.

Questions of law might also be in play. The perpetrator of the attack snooped on emails that had already been opened. This might hamper prosecution under the Stored Communications Act, based on the DoJ's stance in an earlier email privacy case, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports.

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the grand jury's deliberations but told AP that the "government’s inquiry into this matter is ongoing". ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.