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Sarah Palin's E-Mail Hacker Gets One Year in Custody


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David Kernell, the 22-year-old man convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's email account during the 2008 presidential elections, was sentenced to one year and one day in custody.

In September 2008, Kernell used information gathered from public sources like Wikipedia to guess the answer to the security question protecting the Yahoo! Mail account of Alaska Governor and, at the time, vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Using the online handle of "Rubico," he then posted screenshots of emails taken from the compromised account and ultimately shared its new password with members of the notorious /b/ 4chan board.

David Kernell, who was 20 years old and a University of Tennessee student at the time of the incident, was convicted in April this year of unauthorized computer access and obstruction of justice.

The jury found him not guilty on a charge of wire fraud and failed to reach a verdict on one count of identity theft.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of 18 months in prison, while Kernell's attorney pushed for probation time, pointing out that he is suffering from depression since an early age.

Federal Judge Thomas W. Phillips who handed out the sentence on Friday, recommended that Kernell execute the sentence in a Tennessee halfway rather than a prison, but ultimately this decision is in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The one year in custody punishment will be followed by three years of probation. The judge also recommended that the hacker receive mental health treatment for his affliction.

David Kernell is the son of Army Lt. Col. Lillian Landrigan and Democratic Tennessee Representative Mike Kernell, who denied knowing of his son's computer intrusion.

The unauthorized computer access was a misdemeanor charge, while the obstruction of justice one, caused by Kernell deleting evidence from his computer, was a felony.


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