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Sarah Palin’s e-mail hacker refutes ‘hacker’ term November 15, 2008

Posted by cyberpatrol in 4chan.org, Anonymous, cybercrime, Hacking.
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Straight.com, 14 November 2008

David Kernell, the 20-year-old University of Tennessee student who accessed Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account, insists that what he did should not be considered “hacking”.

According to Wired.com, Kernell’s lawyer has filed a motion that would prevent prosecutors and witnesses from classifying what Kernell’s actions as “hacking” and from calling Kernell a “hacker”.

Apparently, the only thing that Kernell did was correctly guess Palin’s security questions by using Google searches to guide him.

All Kernell needed was Palin’s date of birth, ZIP code, and the knowledge of where she met her husband—information that’s available online for anyone to view.

After resetting Palin’s password to “popcorn”, Kernell posted the Alaskan governor’s e-mail and password on the 4chan forums—a large Internet discussion board that ranges in topics from Japanese culture to video games and sports.

Kernell’s lawyer is arguing that hacking usually involves some sort of advanced computer skills to get past security codes and that guessing a password shouldn’t be counted as such.

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Comments»

1. Oni F. - January 9, 2009

Aww come on. Guessing can often also count as hacking. He accessed an account which he didn’t have permission to. He had the choice to do it or not, and he chose to do it. Plus he changed things on the account without permission too and published it.

Not that I sympathize with Palin, but I hope that guy will rot in jail.

2. SmarterMan - January 23, 2009

Guessing a password =/= hacking, at all. I mean, the guy did to illegal stuff, but to say he is some sort of “hacker” just is a misuse of the word, which is what the lawyer is arguing.


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