Legal arguments over Sarah Palin email “hack”

Remember when Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account was hacked last year, and details of her private emails were distributed across the internet? If you were reading the Clu-blog last September you’ll remember that her account was broken into by a hacker who correctly guessed the answers to her “secret questions” about her date of birth, her postal code, and information about where she met her husband.

A university student called David Kernell, in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, was identified by the authorities as the main suspect.

Kernell has now appeared in court, asking for the charges against him to be dismissed.

Kernell’s legal team are arguing that because an email address isn’t a name or a number (which apparently is the legal definition of an identity), accessing it can’t be classified as…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity 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 analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.