The son of Tennessee Democratic state representative Mike Kernell, David Kernell (picture: right), has admitted that he is the hacker behind the attack on Sarah Palin’s email (picture:left). Kernell was first identified Thursday as the hacker by Wired Magazine’s security blog, Threat Level. This was following an internet post on the 4chan forum, /b/, in which a hacker identifying himself as firstname.lastname@example.org described how he got into Palin’s account. The forum is well known for pop perversity, known for trend starting, notorious for internet attacks and pranks.
Kernell says the password was obtained with Yahoo’s “forgot your password?” feature, doing Google and Wikipedia searches to find the personal information used as verification clues: Palin's birthday, zip code, and where she met her husband.
The hack was reportedly a response to allegations that Palin used her account to circumvent public disclosure laws, but the alleged political motivations of the attack have grown exponentially since news was released to the public.
The hacker used the proxy Ctunnel, which allows users to anonymously access blocked sites. Since the hacker left most of his URL in the photos of Palin’s emails he posted on watchdog site Wikileaks, it should be possible to corroborate his identity.
Rubico claims to have been looking for incriminating evidence, but nothing that wouldn’t fall under deliberative process was found, though another fascinating aspect of Palin physiognomy was revealed.
Legal analyst Kurt Opsahl writes that the murky waters of computer law might make it hard to prosecute Kernell.