Court convicts Sarah Palin’s email hacker

David C Kernell, the 22-year-old student who broke into the personal Yahoo email account of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, has been convicted by a court in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The jury deliberated for four days before finding Kernell, the son of state democratic representative Mike Kernell, guilty of obstruction of justice and unauthorised access to a computer. However, Kernell was acquitted of a separate charge of wire fraud.

Kernell could face up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice conviction – brought about because he deleted evidence from his hard drive – and an additional your for the unauthorised access to Palin’s account.

The student broke into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account and posted copies of her emails, addresses of her contacts, and family photos on Wikileaks.

What brought the September 2008 hack to the attention of the world stage, of course, was that at the time Palin was…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.