Explore the latest news and trends  

Sign up for our weekly security newsletter

Be the first to receive important updates on security


Sarah Palin’s E-mail Hacker Worked on Spyware Infected PC

Lawyers of David Kernell, a 21-year-old student who is suspected of hacking the web-mail account of American politician 'Sarah Palin,' claimed that Kernell's computer had already been infested with a spyware, as reported by TheRegister on December 9, 2009.

Kernell's attorneys state that there was a spyware program on Acer laptop, which FBI officials confiscated during a raid at Kernell's apartment in Knoxville, Tennessee (USA), in 2008.

They also state that the malicious program was installed on the computer using a completely new technique before the notebook came under Kernell's ownership. The program very finely intercepts and transmits personal information from a computer while its owner remains totally unaware, the attorneys add in a motion dated November 30, 2009, as reported by ComputerWorld on December 9, 2009.

Incidentally, filings at court do not specify what spyware program was on Kernell's computer. However, they suggest that the program was reverse-engineered as well as studied in five forensic investigations. These five forensic investigation reports were produced by the United States government to facilitate the case's trial. Meanwhile, since the reports carry personal information, they have been sealed.

It is worth noting that Kernell might be sentenced to a five-year imprisonment on charges he committed one instance of computer hacking. Prosecutors state that during September 2008, the student hacked into Palin's private e-mail account, when she was contesting for the vice-presidential election. And to access the account, Kernell utilized the password reset function of Yahoo. The e-mails appeared on the Internet and an unidentified person 'Rubico,' member of the 4chan discussion panel, said he was behind the leakage.

During September 2008, when David Kernell, student of the University of Tennessee and son of diplomat 'Mike Kernell' of the state Democratic Party, was attending a party with fellow students, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his Knoxville apartment.

Like Kernell, another teen hacker of USA named 'Aaron Caffrey' was charged in 2003 of attempting disruption Texas' Port of Houston via computer-hacking, but he was acquitted. Actually, Caffrey had claimed that unknown people hacked into his PC and installed the exploit designed to attack the port, a story the jury accepted.

Related article: Share of Russian Spam on Internet Increased in October 2008

» SPAMfighter News - 12/18/2009

3 simple steps to update drivers on your Windows PCSlow PC? Optimize your Slow PC with SLOW-PCfighter!Email Cluttered with Spam? Free Spam Filter!

Dear Reader

We are happy to see you are reading our IT Security News.

We do believe, that the foundation for a good work environment starts with fast, secure and high performing computers. If you agree, then you should take a look at our Business Solutions to Spam Filter & Antivirus for even the latest version of Exchange Servers - your colleagues will appreciate it!

Go back to previous page