Suspected Palin e-mail hacker indicted

posted at 10:35 am on October 8, 2008 by Allahpundit

No surprises. Up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

He won’t serve a day.

David C. Kernell, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville for intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Palin, the governor of Alaska and Sen. John McCain’s running mate, according to U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick.

Dedrick said Kernell, the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, turned himself in to federal authorities today for arrest…

According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mail and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password, thus providing access to the account by others.

Any legal eagles (or techies, I guess) want to speculate on why it took the grand jury an extra three weeks to return the indictment? The last time I wrote about this, the FBI reportedly already had the IP logs in hand and had searched his dorm for corroborating evidence. What extra evidence would they have needed to produce to nudge the case over the line of probable cause?


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Those still don’t avoid the MAC address… the only way to truly prevent any chain from pointing back to your machine is to not use your machine…. otherwise the external information would be unable to find it’s way back to your machine.

CC

CapedConservative on October 8, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Onion routing is a pretty damned effective way of masking your location, but there is no guarantee of not passing through a compromised server.

If I really wanted untraceable access, I’d compromise a windoze box that some dummy leaves hooked up to their cable modem, install a SSH service and tunnel all my traffic through that. Or spoof my traffic and implement a ‘catchers mitt’ on a compromised machine….or use the free wifi at a coffee shop or hotel….

The internet was designed with connectivity and communication in mind, not security. It’s easy to cover your ass if you’re not a dummy.

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM

CC

I can spoof every last item in an id request your poor little servers ask for.

I can change it down to the bit level and as far as you are concerned Putin just logged in from the Kremlin.

I can tell you a different browser agent or version or operating system or mac address or anything you are able to query over the net.

The ONLY way you can be sure is if it is a digitally signed VPN connection.

Anything else and you are blowing smoke.

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:04 PM

CC

You are assuming that they were capturing IP packets when this happened. Unless the CTunnel admins are logging all IP packets or that Yahoo keeps a record of all Trillions of IP packets per day, the MAC address is useless in this instance. All that they will have to go by in this case is whatever information that Yahoo logged and I can assure you it is not full and raw IP packets from the kid and due to the nature of how ctunnel works, they will not have full/raw IP packets on hand either. It will be whatever they can gather from the hard drive if it wasn’t completely zero’d out (and even then it could still be recovered with million dollar equipment but unlikely it happened) and whatever other information that can be gathered from the ISP.

zerodamage on October 8, 2008 at 1:06 PM

He might not serve a day. But he will be convicted of a felony, which means he loses the right to vote. That’s a win.

VA Governor Timmy Kaine (”my” governor; Dem of course) restored voting rights to 1,500 Virginia felons a few weeks ago …. never underestimate the depths to which leftist will go to “win” an election.

ex-Democrat on October 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM

At first I was “YAY!! :D”
Then I was “BAH!! :(”

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on October 8, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Right now on this computer I have 5 different browsers running.

All I have to do is log out of HotAir and log back in with a different browser Firefox to Opera for example and your server is left scratching it’s head.

If HotAir does not check for multiple log ins under the same user name I can switch browsers between posts and the logs will look like a how did he do that mess

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM

I can pat my head and rub my tummy

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 1:18 PM

The internet was designed with connectivity and communication in mind, not security. It’s easy to cover your ass if you’re not a dummy.

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM

You are the coolest guy in the room…always.

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 1:18 PM

The Firefox browser I am running has a full featured web developer plug in installed.

I can twiddle with anything that it sends to the net and unless it is a totally secure end to end connection you have nothing to prove otherwise.

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:22 PM

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Invisible sarc tags duly noted ;)

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 1:23 PM

He won’t serve a day.

AP, humor this rube in floyover country. Why exactly?

SKYFOX on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Don’t believe your own hype.

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM

I seriously doubt this kid was using Tor.

Levinite on October 8, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Lg

Assume I don’t have to log into CC website just surf to it

Suppose I surf there in Firefox and then copy the url to 3 other browsers and send them there.

Now I have four browsers at his home page all reporting the same ip info but different browser types.

I send firefox to a page linked off his home page and he logs it

I switch to my ie browser and click another link off his home page

Repeat for Opera

Repeat for Google Chrome

Now is it live or is it memorex

Is it one computer with one user or is it 4 users on 4 computers on my net hidden behind my router via NAT

If I go get a coffee and my son clicks my firefox to another part of the site was it him or me and how do you prove that fact

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Is it one computer with one user or is it 4 users on 4 computers on my net hidden behind my router via NAT

If you understood how NAT works, you’d know that it is trivial to demonstrate that it is one computer doing the browsing with multiple (apparent) browsers.

If I go get a coffee and my son clicks my firefox to another part of the site was it him or me and how do you prove that fact

I’d threaten your son with a rubber hose until he confessed ;)

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Comment Guy I don’t think you could be any more wrong if you tried. A simple forensic analysis of the ONE computer you are using to surf would reveal all the HTML code needed to implicate you. You all are missing the point, this isn’t a case that is solely based on Ip addressing, NAT, or whatever. At the end of the day, the evidence is IN the computer…

CapitalistPig on October 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Ok then my kitty jumps up and plays with my mouse and clicks another link or hits the pre programmed back button on my multi media keyboard.

You rubber hose my cat and PETA will want to talk to ya son!LOL

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:45 PM

CP you have nothing zero nada

You could prove the exact computer and recover the full sordid history intact from the hard drive.

Now prove who did it. The body the person you can’t.

All you can at best prove with full information is where and when you can’t prove conclusively the who part.

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:48 PM

What was that breeze I just felt? Oh, it was everything going over my head. As The One would say: that is above my pay grade.

duggersd on October 8, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Example

4 kids in a car run a stop sign and cop across the street at a gas station sees it but didn’t get a look at the driver

Kids saw cop pull around corner out of sight , turn off car and are all sitting on the grass on the curb when the cop pulls up.

Who you gonna ticket?

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Short of a videotape of the guy at the computer doing it, I agree, you can’t definitively prove anyone did anything unless you have it on videotape. Fortunately, our courts don’t have the same stringent “PROVE IT TO ME” standard that you have. The USA’s office appears to have more than ample circumstantial evidence here that proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the kid was involved. That’s all you need to get past, a reasonable doubt…I dare say that most web-lawyers hinge their entire defense, much like you do, on this ‘reasonable doubt’. Fortunately, juries get to see everything else, such as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ that the defendant did what he is alleged to have done. This ‘reasonable doubt’ does not exist on it’s own, it has to be weighed as a part of the overall case against the defendant.

CapitalistPig on October 8, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Hey, guys, remember this kid bragged to his friends what he did. He showed them. They are the ones who’ve been interviewed by Secret Service and the Feds and they’re singing like canaries.

It isn’t just forensics. This is a clear cut case and they have the witnesses to point fingers at the guilty. The forensics prove that this computer was the source of the hacking.

His friends put him in the chair. Done deal.

bonnie_ on October 8, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Right now on this computer I have 5 different browsers running.

All I have to do is log out of HotAir and log back in with a different browser Firefox to Opera for example and your server is left scratching it’s head.

If HotAir does not check for multiple log ins under the same user name I can switch browsers between posts and the logs will look like a how did he do that mess

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM

FAIL!

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Agreed bonnie it takes that confirmation if he gets convicted.

Just the computer stuff alone is NOT enough.

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM

It isn’t just forensics. This is a clear cut case and they have the witnesses to point fingers at the guilty. The forensics prove that this computer was the source of the hacking.

His friends put him in the chair. Done deal.

bonnie_

Damned straight.

CapitalistPig on October 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Who you gonna ticket?

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM

The owner of the vehicle.

You’re right in one sense, there is no digital link to the physical world that cannot be challenged. However, you’re making a point without much teeth, as all that is needed is not formal proof, but proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Trying to blame your kitty for uploading gigabytes of child porn is unlikely to fly far.

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Ha. No mention of the “D” word on the ABC newsbreak. He’s just the “son of a Tennessee representative”, you know.

capitalist piglet on October 8, 2008 at 2:04 PM

RC

Your FAIL means nothing

Just my firefox web developer plugin alone allows me to swap browser type at a click of a button even if I am still using firefox it identifies to the site as whatever browser I want without loggin in or out, that is part of it’s purpose to allow me to try combos of stuff when developing web pages to see if it works for different browsers .

It even swaps which rendering engine is used if I want to have that happen.

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 2:05 PM

CapitalistPig on October 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Step away from the web glossary!

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Example

4 kids in a car run a stop sign and cop across the street at a gas station sees it but didn’t get a look at the driver

Kids saw cop pull around corner out of sight , turn off car and are all sitting on the grass on the curb when the cop pulls up.

Who you gonna ticket?

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Excellent.

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM

*Whom

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Example

4 kids in a car run a stop sign and cop across the street at a gas station sees it but didn’t get a look at the driver

Kids saw cop pull around corner out of sight , turn off car and are all sitting on the grass on the curb when the cop pulls up.

Who you gonna ticket?

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Excellent.

The Race Card on October 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Hatstand

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM

the evidence is IN the computer…

CapitalistPig on October 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM

This reminds me of the scene in Zoolander…

JadeNYU on October 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

This reminds me of the scene in Zoolander…

JadeNYU on October 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Would you like some tea? ;)

LimeyGeek on October 8, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Does anyone know anything about the Republican candidate running against State Rep. Mike Kernell in the Memphis area?

You gotta think Kernell now stands a greater chance of losing his seat.

ericdondero on October 8, 2008 at 8:03 PM

If HotAir does not check for multiple log ins under the same user name I can switch browsers between posts and the logs will look like a how did he do that mess

CommentGuy on October 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Ummm..yeah…you can have 500 browsers on your computer but they all have the same IP….

And the ‘my cat jumped on my keyboard’ will work about one time…maybe…

BigWyo on October 8, 2008 at 8:28 PM

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