Feeds

Lawyers claim Palin hack suspect's PC had spyware

Groundwork laid for possible Big Wooden Horse defence

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Lawyers for Sarah Palin webmail hack suspect David Kernell claim his PC was infected with spyware.

The contention may be used at trial to support arguments that the 21-year-old student son of a Tennessee Democrat politician was not personally responsible for the hack on a Yahoo! account maintained by the former Alaskan governor, which was traced back to an IP address used by Kernell.

The content of emails and family photos were uploaded onto 4Chan during last year's presidential election campaign. The webmail account was compromised after hackers reset Palin's password using biographical info that was far from hard to figure out from publicly available information.

Palin described the incident as hugely disruptive to the Republican presidential campaign in her recently published book.

Lawyers acting for Kernell claim his Acer laptop was infected with unspecified malware in a motion filed on 30 November. However, the malware involved has been isolated and subjected to scrutiny, Security Blanket reports.

The so-called Trojan defence was successfully used by accused hacker Aaron Caffrey, an Asperger's sufferer charged with using systems run by the Port of Houston to run a DDoS attack, crashing servers in Texas in the process. Caffery was cleared after a jury found him not guilty of hacking offences at the end of a week-long trial back in 2003, despite the fact that expert witnesses found no evidence of Trojan infection on his PC.

In other cases, suspected paedophiles have been cleared by computer forensics after Trojans capable of downloading illicit images were found on their PCs.

It's unclear to what extent Kernell's lawyers will use the "hackers used my PC as a proxy" patsy defence when his trial, scheduled to begin on 20 April next year, gets underway. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
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
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
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

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.
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.
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.