Palin E-mail Hacker Headed to Jail

Lora Bentley
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10 Ways to Keep Hackers in Check and Ensure Safe Web Resources

Remember David Kernell? The college student who was convicted of hacking into then-Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo mail account and sharing what he found there with the world? The son of Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell was sentenced to one year and one day in jail.


According to the INQUIRER, Kernell faced a maximum of 20 years for the three felonies of which he was convicted, but prosecutors were only asking for a sentence of 18 months. At the time, Palin called the prank one of "the most disruptive and discouraging" incidents of the campaign.


Kernell gained access to Palin's account by using publicly available information to guess the answers to security questions posed by Yahoo's "change password" feature. What he found revealed that Palin used the account for government business, which violated Alaska's government conduct rules.


The incident revived the debate regarding government e-mail and Web-use policies that was launched by missing White House e-mails near the end of the Bush administration.

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