Feeds

Palin webmail 'hack' trial delayed

Time-out for computer forensics

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The trial of the student accused of breaking into the email account of Sarah Palin in the run-up to the US presidential election has been pushed back to next May.

David Kernell, 20, was originally due to face trial on December 16, but the case is now scheduled for 19 May. Kernell, the son of Tennessee Democrat legislator Mike Kernell, faces a single count of hacking into the former Republican vice presidential candidate's webmail account in September.

The extra time has been allowed in order to carry out computer forensics analysis relevant to the case.

Palin's webmail account was compromised by taking advantage of the password reset feature. A light spot of Goggling revealed the probable answers to Palin's secret question, allowing the account to be accessed, according to posts on the 4Chan discussion board discussing the hack.

These posts (made using the pseudonym of Rubico) were linked back to Kernell's email address. Screenshots taken during the course of the attack and posted online showed that the Ctunnel.com web proxy service was used during the attack. Since the full URL was included with these screenshots it might be possible to obtain the IP address of the computer that accessed the account from Ctunnel's logs.

Kernell's attorney, Wade Davies, unsuccessfully argued last month that his client ought to be charged with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. On a felony charge, Kernell faces up to five years behind bars and a fine of $250,000. Kernell has entered a not-guilty plea.

More successfully, Davies argued that use of the term hacking or hacker was inappropriate in the context of Kernell's alleged misdeeds because the term implied the use of "sophisticated means or specialized computer skills".

The University of Tennessee student remains free on bail with restriction that prohibit his use of a computer except for the purposes of internet email and college coursework. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.