Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Network Security
Fiercely productive scanners
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Suspect Nabbed in Palin E-mail Hack
Suspect Nabbed in Palin E-mail Hack

By Steve Bosak
September 20, 2008 9:22AM

    Bookmark and Share
In a message on a Web site frequented by hackers, a poster who identified himself as 'rubico' explained how he cracked Sarah Palin's Yahoo! e-mail account. The hacker tracked Palin's e-mail address from materials posted in the media, then used the password reset function to access the account, gaining exclusive control of Palin's e-mail.
 



In the wake of hacking the Yahoo! e-mail account of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Web sleuths and the Feds may have nabbed the perpetrator. Meanwhile, Associated Press reporters were apparently in e-mail conversation with the suspect even as authorities were attempting to track him down.

According to reports in Knoxville's Tennessean, Democrat State Representative Mike Kernell admitted that his son, David Kernell is being questioned by authorities in connection with the crime. The Secret Service and the FBI launched an official investigation on September 17.

Kernell, 20, is a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Rep. Kernell refused to disclose any further information about his son, including his whereabouts.

Not-So-Secure Security

In a message on a Web site frequented by hackers, a poster who identified himself as 'rubico' explained how he cracked Palin's Yahoo! account. The hacker tracked Palin's Yahoo! e-mail address from materials posted in the media, and then used the 'password reset' function to get into the account.

By successfully answering the account security question, 'rubico' was able to gain exclusive control of Palin's e-mail by substituting his own password -- 'popcorn.' The stored security question was: "Where did you meet your husband?" The hacker used online search to glean background information on Palin, and eventually hit on "Wasilla High School."

Analysts, of course, note that such security questions are less than secure. The hacker continues in his message to express frustration over his inability to download all the material. He then posted the password to the board after leaving screen captures of a few messages, family pictures and the inbox on the Wikileaks Web site, and asks other hackers to check out the material.

Alarmed by the message, another anonymous message board member logged into the Palin account, changed the password again, then contacted the Palin family with the new password and a warning that someone had hacked the account.

Tracking the Hacker

After determining that 'rubico' had used a proxy server in an attempt to cover his tracks, it appears that the Ctunnel proxy service, operated by Gabriel Rumuglia, cooperated with FBI investigators to track the elusive IP address of the culprit by turning over IP cache records. The trail allegedly leads back to David Kernell.

It appears Kernell's YouTube, MySpace and e-mail addresses have been terminated; one email address began with 'rubico10.' Kernell apparently used variations on the 'rubico' handle on other Web groups he belongs to, such as a chess group and other e-mail accounts. Bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and the Register were instrumental in tracking down leads to the perpetrator and tracking the path of the hacker through a proxy service.

Other fallouts from the hack are continued allegations in major newspapers that Palin was violating ethics standards by using a private e-mail count to conduct state business and the refusal of the Associated Press to turn over e-mail communications with the hacker. Some Web sites posted the e-mail addresses of Palin's family members and even posted Crystal Palin's cell phone number.

The hacker Web site that 'rubico' posted on, 4Chan.org, was most recently in the news when some members coordinated an online information blitz and attack on the Church of Scientology.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Network Security
1.   How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
2.   OpenSSL Calls for More Support
3.   NSC Backs Disclosing Vulnerabilities
4.   Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware
5.   1 in 5 Say They've Had Data Stolen


advertisement
Don't Reset Passwords for Heartbleed?
Added caution needed to ensure security.
Average Rating:
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Big data analytics could be the key.
Average Rating:
Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware
Cisco, Juniper equipment vulnerable.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.