Feeds

Palin email hacker gets 366 days in custody

Prison or halfway house

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The former Tennessee college student convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail account was sentenced on Friday to 366 days in either federal prison or a halfway house.

David Kernell smiled as the sentence was delivered in US District Court in Knoxville, according to news reports. He faced a maximum of 20 years in custody, and federal prosecutors had been seeking 18 months imprisonment. Defense attorneys had asked for probation with no time served in prison. He was also sentenced to three years of probation.

In April, Kernell was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of computer intrusion and a felony count of obstruction of justice. A jury acquitted him of a separate charge of wire fraud and deadlocked on a fourth charge for identity theft.

In September 2008, Kernell used publicly available information to break in to the account of Palin, who at the time was the Republican vice presidential candidate. After looking up her zip code and other information online, he reset her password and posted a smattering of pictures and other contents to 4chan.org. The content was later reposted to Wikileaks.

US District Judge Thomas W. Phillips sentenced Kernell to one year and one day in custody and recommended that time be served in a halfway house. It will be up to officials at the Bureau of Prisons to decide whether that recommendation is carried out or whether Kernell will instead go to prison.

The son of a Democratic Tennessee state legislator, Kernell admitted to deleting some computer files after the hack because he was worried they would incriminate him. He also defragmented his hard drive and deleted temporary internet files to cover his tracks.

His attorneys asked the court for leniency, arguing that he allowed much of the data on his machine to be preserved. They also characterized the offense as more of a prank than a crime.

Kernell was permitted to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons at a later date, according to news reports. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.