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Son of Tenn. Lawmaker Indicted in Palin E-Mail Hack

The son of a prominent Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker was indicted Tuesday on charges of hacking into the Yahoo! Web mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

David C. Kernell, 20, of Knoxville, was indicted by a federal grand jury on a single count of accessing Palin's e-mail without permission. The FBI said Kernell turned himself in to federal authorities and will be arraigned today.


Kernell is the son of Tennessee State Representative Mike Kernell, who acknowledged shortly after the incident that authorities had contacted his son in connection with the investigation.

According to the indictment, on Sept. 16, Kernell broke into Palin's Yahoo! account by guessing the answers to her pre-selected "Secret Questions" that must be answered before Yahoo! will let users reset e-mail account passwords. Authorities say Kernell read Palin's e-mail messages and then made and posted online screenshots of the e-mail inbox, along with the new password to her account.

If convicted, Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.'s Kim Zetter has a nice chronology of how the hack went down, which tracks a series of postings to the online community Kernell allegedly made describing how he was able to reset Palin's account password by looking up the answers to her secret questions online. From that story:

after the password recovery was reenabled, it took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google to find the info, Birthday? 15 seconds on wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)

the second was somewhat harder, the question was "where did you meet your spouse?" did some research, and apparently she had eloped with mister palin after college, if youll look on some of the screenshits that I took and other fellow anon have so graciously put on photobucket you will see the google search for "palin eloped" or some such in one of the tabs.
I found out later though more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on "Wasilla high" I promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower...


I've advised readers to take caution when picking the answers to these secret questions and to avoid choosing answers that can easily be discovered through a background or simple Internet search. When the option is available, the safest bet is to choose your own secret question and select an answer that only you would know.

Amazingly, Yahoo! still does not allow new registrants to make up their own question for resetting their password.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

By Brian Krebs  |  October 8, 2008; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Cyber Justice , Fraud , From the Bunker , Latest Warnings , U.S. Government  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Spammers Favor Obama Over McCain 7 to 1
Next: Spear Phishing Scam Targets LinkedIn Users


jeezus, its a scary world we live in now.. Maybe Palin's 15 minutes of fame will soon be over now this whole hacker is starting to fade...

Posted by: crazyamericans | October 8, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The attacks against Palin have been vicious. The same has happened to candidates opposing Marxist candidates in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador.

We are grateful to Palin for having the courage to mention Obama’s dangerous links. People in the United States are being manipulated to put a Marxist in power, just like people in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Ecuadorians were fooled into believing that the young and charismatic candidate Rafael Correa, with no experience, would bring CHANGE and help the poor. CHANGE and YES WE CAN were Correa’s slogans.

The CHANGE has been towards Marxism and greater poverty. When Marxists say YES WE CAN, they mean they can lie and take over.

Posted by: Antonio Sosa | October 8, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

This shows that Sarah is not too smart, at least smart enough to be trusted with national security.

Meaning, of course, she can't even handle her personal matters reasonably safe, much less higher level matters.

And she even had State matters in her personal, not well protected, account.

Posted by: El Mugroso | October 8, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Put a kid in prison... Let's see how christian Palin is. Wait, I forgot, christianity GOP style has nothing to do with the notion of what Jesus would do.

Posted by: humanbeng | October 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama does not have dangerous links. If you do some research, you will see that his friendship with Ayers is not a friendship with a "terrorist"

Palin is not courageous whatsoever. All she has is the ability to smile and feebly attempt to regurgitate whatever she can about what a maverick McCain is.

McCain has been associated with a former member of the KKK and other prominent figures who wanted to keep segregation in the United States. Is the KKK not a form of domestic terrorism?

McCain is not 100% honest so DON'T imply that if we vote for McCain, what we see is what we get.

If we were to vote for McCain/Palin, THAT is true manipulation. Smart, intellectual people will know to vote for Obama/Biden. It will be the hockey moms and the joe six packs who are manipulated to vote for McCain/Palin. Even "intellectual Republicans" criticize Palin which can be found in a CNN article.

Please do the right thing and keep McCain and Palin out of office.

Posted by: anti-antonio sosa | October 8, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, he is quite unrepentant, and didn't even apologize.

He even entered a plea of Not Guilty.

He really should own up to what he did, plead guilty, and get a lesser sentence...

Posted by: Michael | October 8, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Her account was so utterly insecure that it's probably unfair and insulting to the many hardworking malicious hackers around the world to call this man's actions by the same name.

Posted by: Rob | October 8, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Well gosh darnit, Sarah Palin's like me in that she's just not used to this whole email thing. Bless her heart, she's got way too many things on her plate to worry about something as trivial as email security. And besides I think this hockey mom has proven she is capable of being the one in charge of the nuclear bombs because she's been keeping an eye on Russia for over 2 years!

Posted by: Joe six pack | October 8, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Do the crime, do the time.

Posted by: Cynic | October 8, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Cynic, tell that to Rush Limbaugh

Posted by: responder | October 8, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

This guy deserves what coming to him, and I hope he gets the maximum jail time.

Identity theft is serious and the damage done can be severe for the victim. I know this because I was a victim of identity theft.

If he has disagreements with the candidate, he should take it to the voting booth, not violating her privacy. This is just plain criminal. It's not just her privacy that was violated, it was her family, and everyone she emailed.

What baffled me is that this idiot actually think he was doing us all a favour. Too bad he didn't have enough brain cells to tell him that self righteousness will lead him to his doom. History is littered with dead self righteous fanatics.

Posted by: onbullsh*t_com | October 8, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

So much for Democrats being angels. It looks like they're just as filthy and sleazy as the Republicans. Put the kid in jail for a while. Then see that he can't get a job using computers. After that, let's form a third party for the centrists.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I whole heartedly agree"This guy deserves what coming to him, and I hope he gets the maximum jail time."
While these arrogant, smiling, smug ,self centered "kids" think hacking and identity theft is a skill and a joke,we spend counless hours and money trying to protect our online privacy and prevent access to information that could bankrupt or ruin our lives.
we need to make major,public examples of these malicious hackers,with lengthly jail terms and hefty fines (like DWI laws)so that they give a whole lot of thought before engaging in hacking and identity theft behavior.As with DWI cases ,those that don't get the message get serious consequences i.e jail/fines

Posted by: nohack | October 8, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ Joe six pack! Classic!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Some of you may remember when Obama's passport records were peeked at by low level federal employees. The carnival clown Olbermann on his MSNBC Obamathon show likened it to Watergate. I have yet to hear a word from the carnival clown over Governor Palin's email being hacked, or from any of the other Obamanists that jokingly call themselves journalists. Where is their outrage over this dispicable incident?

Posted by: Greg B | October 8, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This was a kid pulling a showboat-y prank so that he could show off to his friends. There are dangerous hackers who want to take down the system, and then there are opportunistic hackers who will do stupid stuff but hopefully will grow out of it. Betcha this kid gets a girlfriend, goes on to college and becomes a productive citizen.

Yes, he does need to have consequences for his actions. But he's not in the same league as the criminals who hack for serious money.

Hopefully, Gov. Palin has learned a thing or two about how to be more savvy on the Internet. I mean, this kid spent about 2 minutes doing Google searches to crack her account. If you are a public figure, you have to be extra careful in crafting your online identity profiles and security settings. She should have her IT person review all her points-of-entry to ensure that they are secure and airtight.

This isn't the IT crime of the century. A trifle in comparison to the financial information that has been swiped from banks, retailers, etc. over the past few years.

Posted by: NW DC | October 8, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It was a clever hack, something anyone (well almost anyone) could do. There's a lot of shenanigans going on, on the Web. If one hasn't been hacked yet, one probably just don't know about it. Anyway, for about a bazillion reasons, including that it's against the law, those who are tempted to hack should refrain. Perhaps seeing a hacker go down hard will send a message. I wouldn't give David the maximum for hacking, but I'd also send the fashion police by to remind the Kernells, the 70s is officially over:

Posted by: Peggy McGilligan | October 8, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

QUOTE: It was a clever hack, something anyone (well almost anyone) could do.

Ooops! Self-contradiction alert! Almost anyone could have done it...which is means it was NOT very clever. It also means Palin was an idiot for using this yahoo acct. for state business because it could have been compromised much earlier. Many years ago I had the sense to recognize the problem so I entered a fake DOB (which I remember) when I signed up for a yahoo email acct. I guess that makes me an IT security expert hahaha.

Posted by: d_in_laurel | October 8, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The young man should be given a light sentence, nothing over a year. Heck Sarah Palin can't give a complete sentence, chances are no one could read her email less on comprehend what was in the email.

Posted by: Lewania | October 8, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse


Bubba will treat you just right.

Posted by: Juan | October 8, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

And who is to say it wasn't already hacked but the original hacker had the sense to not shout out about it. This kid only got caught because he was a loudmouth about it.

Posted by: Stern | October 8, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm resetting my Yahoo passwords.
This MORON should get the heaviest sentence allowed. No one should tolerate this behavior! Even if you don't like Palin---it could be YOU next if this type of behavior is treated lightly.

Posted by: Cheryl | October 8, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm! I wonder if Democratic siblings are above Federal law? Let's wait and see. For those anti-Christian loveless heathen lost souls, Palin can and probably will forgive. But it is not up to her to pardon. Oh, and do you notice how Dems always try to blame the victim when one of their perps/kind is caught being dirty? Her religion, background,upbringing,intelligence. A classic good vs evil tactic.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Throw the book at this thief, and don't at all put any blame on the victim.

You shouldn't even have to lock your door, much less your e-mail account. It's the thieves who should be locked-up.

Posted by: Chen | October 8, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Just because it can be done, easily or not, does not make it right. I can easily rob a 7-11 but it's still a crime. Palin was perhaps naive in thinking the email was secure. But the fact is he "...knowingly accessed a computer without authorization..." which is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act under which he was charged. He knew he was wrong to do it "...I took a cold shower..." and is old enough to know better, or at least should be (bad parenting and all). Should he go to jail for this - no, but he should learn a lesson about crime.

Posted by: DC | October 8, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait until Americans elect a socialist such as Obama for President, I am so tired of playing cards with Putin, Hugo, and Kim Jong ILL. Putin is always such a sore loser.

Posted by: F. Castro | October 8, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing the apologists for someone engaging in identity theft and a significant violation of privacy. Liberals seem to value privacy only when its their own.

Posted by: Steve G | October 8, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that Palin wants the kid prosecuted (she has a son almost the same age). You'll probably see her coming out and asking for leniency for him. His family will be all thankful etc. This will work to Palin's favor in the end.

Posted by: Jessica | October 8, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not he deserves punishment aside, I would hardly call one 20 year old hacker the linchpin in the argument for Democratic sleaziness and inferiority. Not nearly as bad as, say, lying to the nation in order to begin a war...

Furthermore, Mr. Sosa, just as it is wrong for the US to have oversimplified and meddled with politics in Latin America, please refrain from imposing South American paradigms on the United States' political climate. We don't exist on quite as polarized a plane as Hugo Chavez and Uribe. There is ample space between Marxism and conservatism here, a space which I would say Obama occupies quite earnestly.

Posted by: jimmyjames | October 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

He should get five years in jail. He committed a felony to try and effect the outcome of a federal election. This is very dirty politics, and although not as bad as watergate, it is basically the same thing. And as far as how easy it was to do, it would be very easy to steal the mail out of my mailbox by the curb, but it's still a felony.

Posted by: ws | October 8, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ARTHUR BURRIS | October 8, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth are people using the internet and not changing the password at least once per month? It is amazingly easy to even guess some passwords, and every account holder, no matter what service, needs to understand that.
Change your passwords to sites, accounts, especially email, and keep them complicated.
That may mean you have to write them down somewhere, but make sure you put that list in a place that is safe.
Too many people have very sensitive information kept in the files on email accounts, and if you are one of those, then take it out. Write down, print, whatever you have to do, but don't leave in online.
Identity theft is an international business now, making some people millions per week.

Posted by: Canuck | October 8, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of using secure email, you probably use the same email service she does. You think it could not happen to you? If anyone is to blame (other than the perp in this case), it aught to be Yahoo for not allowing customized answers.

Vote for Teddy Roosevelt!
(If you research, you'll know)

Posted by: Joe Khamel | October 8, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yahoo! lets users choose their own secret question, but you have to contact their customer service to do it. I did it right after finding out Palin's account had been hacked.

Posted by: LeBain | October 8, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Obama did while his name was Barry Soetoro. Before he changed his name back to Barack Obama. I wonder if the media actually investigated his ties with Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour a/k/a Donald Warden. I wonder what the emails would have said to his advisers that suddenly quit because of their ties with middle eastern countries. Yet hey the media will not report on those important issues. They will report on the issues so minute like Palins per diem or the conflict of intrest because Cindy McCain owns a beer distributorship. Yet Obama has so many ties to people that are anti American, anti "whitey" (this from his preacher for 20 years that he had no clue he talked like that) Are Americans that ignorant they would vote for this socialist and his aquaintences show his real views along with his wifes never being proud of this country until now (that will be your first lady) ignorance is running Obama's campaign and the sad part is ignorance is listening.

Posted by: coach0615 | October 8, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick and tired of these hackers playing their computer games. Because of them we have to continually update our systems with security fixes and anti-virus software. While I do not wish the kid jail, I do hope they take this seriously and give him months of community service.

Posted by: Bern | October 8, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Tolerance, political correctness, Obama. These are the slogans of the new communism. Get ready for oppression American style...should be fun--we have the best weapons and prisons for keeping lovers of freedom in chains.

Posted by: Gallegos | October 8, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the Obama brains (washed?) - it is the victim that is at fault - this innocent 20 year old child of a righteous DEM House member was just trying to help his Dad to save to world for CHANGE we can believe using AUDACITY -- we neeeeeeed (high screech) HOPE and there is no issue if federal crimes are the means to get to that end!

Posted by: CHican | October 8, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"What baffled me is that this idiot actually think he was doing us all a favour. Too bad he didn't have enough brain cells to tell him that self righteousness will lead him to his doom. History is littered with dead self righteous fanatics."

Ain't it the truth, and the guy is just plain stupid. He deserves to serve a prison term. Kid, my ....
If your identity is stolen, it's not funny. Teach these guys a lesson.

Posted by: annonymouse | October 8, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest... is this hacker any different from someone who would break into your home or physical mailbox?

There has to be accountability and responsibility.

I am genuinely sorry this kid chose to do this but it was his choice and now, he must own up to it.

That is life.

Posted by: Red Out | October 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Exposing security flaws is not the same thing as identity theft. We are lucky it was a UT kid and not Russian or al-Qaeda spies. Maybe she'll switch to Gmail now.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This is not dangerous hacking. It's a kid breaking a code, like solving a sudoku puzzle. He did his 'crime' and has already done his time, by being embarrassed and exposed. The punishment should fit the level of the crime. You park over 30 minutes and you don't have your car confiscated.

What was shown about Palin's use of personal email related to government business may be another 'crime', either simple or serious. The concept of 'do the crime, do the time' certainly applies here too.

Posted by: stevewoz | October 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This little twerp deserves to be spanked.

Posted by: CB | October 8, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Fidel Castro,
I hear you. These republicans are really starting to annoy me. Always bombing my caves and keeping me on the run. I think we need someone on OUR side for once...
This shows you how much the americans focus on themselves. They have a big economic crisis right now, and they can't even decide if they want to enforce their own laws. Things are starting to look better for us...

Posted by: O.B. Laden | October 8, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Little Hacker's behind is going to be awfully busy for the next few months...Hope he and Bubba have a wonderful honeymoon...The nerve and audacity of "anyone" getting into anyone's personal things...I hope he gets the maximum law allows, and let him try to get a job with a felony conviction..oops, I forgot, he's got a powerful Daddy that will get him a good job...I'm having a difficult time deciding whether I should call the kid a Jerk, a *otherf*cker,or an *assho*e

Posted by: k mills | October 8, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Stupid, mindless liberals. What do they know? They are so ignorant to the truth that they actually beleive Obama is going to save them from all the bad things in this world. Get your heads out of your ass and look at the real bad guy. For those that don't get it, it is the no record, do nothing, never has done anything, drug addict, alchoholic, racist, the socialist Barrack Husein Obama. Who is he going to side with if worse comes to worse. He said "the Islamics". Enough said to sway my vote.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

one year reduced to a few years probation

Posted by: tony | October 8, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

How many of you self-riteous people cheat on your taxes?

Posted by: av8r_pt | October 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

the kid wont spend a day in jail his family is in goverment maybe they will ban him from using a computer or a fine the feds should be out there going after acorn

Posted by: wtobias | October 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure this adorable, innocent child would have shown considerable restraint had there been credit card information, SSN, confidential information, or insurance information, etc. Hope the judge "throws the book" at the smug little s***. An attitude adjustment is in order.

Posted by: Vlad | October 8, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

To everyone: Give fake answers to security questions that no-one else could guess or find out about

The kid does deserve jailtime (at least a year) for being so cocky and for teaching the general non-techies how to 'hack' others' emails, he definitely needs to be humbled and taught respect. Heck, and fine him the absolute maximum - the governement so needs that $ now !

Posted by: ww | October 8, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Lock the little twerp up!

Posted by: CC | October 8, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ayers is just a guy I knew on the street, no more than that, ok?

All the fomer presidents had this kind of connections, no big deal!

Posted by: B H O | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess many democrats love to twist and quote biblical scripture out of context. Love & boundaries & discipline or responsibility go hand in hand. Action has consequences. If you don't know anything about the Bible, please don't quote or cut & paste or copy & paste scripture to your favor. If Gov. Palin were a Democrat Feminist; the leftists and feminists would have screamed about their "rights" being violated and would demand an investigation, etc. etc. But since it didn't happen to one of them, then they practice double hipocrite standard.

Posted by: rabia | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse


Its going to suck when he gets elected, he will give you what the republicans have failed at and what most red states are scared to death of...

An education.

Posted by: sage | October 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The kid will be set Free because his father is a democrat. They don’t take the blame for anything, and the media with their Political Propaganda Machine for the democrats will protect him, like they do Obama. They will make the whole event as if it was Palin's fault. The Political Propaganda was aimed at the masses and they blindly followed, pushing the intellectuals aside, which historically always adds up to trouble for everyone. The media has made up their mind and have selected Obama, and I find it scary how Obama’s supporters favor lack of experience and youth over political experience and the lessons learned from age. Obama has no idea how ugly our enemies are and how they play the game to their advantage and goal of killing America. Obama’s foreign policy is like Lord Neville Chamberlin in the late 30’s. Both are appeasing our enemies.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

i think someone should make a site SPECIFICLY MADE for trying to hack others accounts on that website so that they dont hack REAL accounts, i mean they wouldnt be invading anyones privecy so id just be fun, yet safe(if your going to flame me because of this, please know that i am only 12 and would not like to hear[read] any swear words)

Posted by: madaco | October 8, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Dear Post Editors/Reporters:
Where is the actual reporting here? The kid was indicted, a chilling fact. Why? Because the prosecution is clearly politically motivated. A quick LEXIS/NEXIS search should tell even the laziest person at the Tech desk that there has never been a federal prosecution for accessing a personal email account.

And where is the concurrent grand jury investigation examining the question of why there are publicly posted discussions of state of Alaska business (including business involving federal money, which would support a federal claim of superceding jurisdiction) in a supposed personal email account.

Let me draw a parallel for you: this is Col. North sneaking documents out of the White House in Fawn Hall's panties, Rosemary Woods "accidentally" erasing the tape, etc.

Posted by: Contrarian Genius | October 8, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

send this dude to jail and post his ssn on everyweb site that ends with .gov

of course somehow this is the republicans fault?

you socialist sheep!

Posted by: matt | October 8, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Send him away for 50 years - he deserves it. How dare he guess some idiot's secret question answers. Who does he think he is - Cris Angel? The Amazing Kreskin? Burn him at the stake - he must be a warlock! We don't need no stinkin' warlocks! And what about his father? HE must be one of them there alien hybrid beings. Burn his father at the stake also. WHO CARES except for some stupid right wing idiot supporters. FREE MICHAEL VICK!!!!!!

Posted by: larry why | October 8, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

For you idiots that think this kid should be held responsible for this "illegal" act you had better be ready to build thousands of more prisons to hold other people actually HACK into someones email. First of all if this happend to me or you the cops would laugh in your face. Second if your dumb enough to send emails that your afraid of being seen by others then you need to read more on how emails work. It is not like online banking people. This is unbelieveable.

Posted by: PoStME | October 8, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I prefer the Chinese way of punishing the criminals. The so-called swift-severe punishment. Sentencing within a week, execution immidietely after sentencing. That is what all the hackers deserve.

Posted by: George | October 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ha yall i found out Mccain is a Terrorist,I found out Mccain is working on the Senate board with Barack Obama in paling around on the Senated floor with Barack Obama to get Bills pass.


Posted by: kessa22 | October 8, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"I prefer the Chinese way of punishing the criminals. The so-called swift-severe punishment. Sentencing within a week, execution immidietely after sentencing. That is what all the hackers deserve."

Spoken like a true moron.

H40X0R should have posted her nude pics she has been sending to Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Read Me | October 8, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm disgusted. When we can't have honest and meaningful elections, we're no longer the United States of America. The "kid" (20 is old enough to get married, sign contracts, join the military, run for state office, etc.) ought to get the maximum. And dear ole Dad, who brought him up to conduct himself in this manner, ought to resign and get a real job, after humble apologies to the people of Tennessee and the other 49 states.

Posted by: Tjack | October 8, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

If the kid gets the MAX then so should Palin.
Conducting state business on a yahoo account is not only extremely risky as shown by this "hack" it is also Illegal. I believe there is already a lawsuit attached to her conducting State business on a yahoo account.

Posted by: Equal punishment | October 8, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

$250,000 fine and 5 years in prison
yet AIG used twice that with our TAX dollars on a nice company retreat.
Wow and they wonder why the USA is messed up

Posted by: oh no | October 8, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Tell you what....I'll give you one Nixon, two Liddy's, three Agnews, and four Stevens). I'll even give you two pardons (well, one pardon and one commutation)if you'll give his kid a slap on the wrist. But you'll have to get Snotty Sarah to quit doing government business on a secret, private e-mail site. Maybe I won't squawk when she gets a light sentence for malfeasence in the troopergate scandal. We got a deal ?

Posted by: thorninurside | October 8, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

How come Obama bin Laden hasn't come out and denounced this criminal activity yet?
He stands to gain support if he denounces this, because it will make him APPEAR to be willing to put aside political differences in order to achieve justice. Justice is only blind because it keeps getting forced to read all the fine print on the forms.
Why can't we all get along? Oh, that's right.. in the words of Carlos Mencia "We only fight amongst ourselves because we've got nothing better to do and we like drama."
BTW- why goes this website have a link called "To be or not to be a spy: How to break into your girlfriend's email account"? Is the WP facilitating illegal activity?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey has anyone put it togther yet?


Can you really trust someone who changes their religous affiliation from Muslim to Church of Christ "before he decided to run for president"? Come on!! He changed his view because he knows that there is no way in hell that the American public would vote for a muslim.

By the way the NAACP are seperatist and racist, MLK would roll over in his grave if he could see what they have become.

I mean get real if you want equality then why should one human be entilted to something another is not. That is what MLK wanted, NOT the seeds that the NAACP is sowing. Thy just want people to stay angry so that they have a job.

Posted by: Dan | October 8, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I can Russia from my house!!!!

Posted by: Chris | October 8, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

if you call obama a marxist, you obviously have no idea what marxism is. go vote for palin and only give rights to rich white people you moron

Posted by: joe | October 8, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Young, smart, liberal and stupid. He belongs to the jail to learn a lesson. He is criminal. Where is the outrage by the liberals on the privacy issue here? Don't they viciously fight the ear-dropping law saying it is intruding their privacy? I guess the privacy is a privilege for the liberal elite, the criminal and the terrorists only.
I call this "liberal logic".

Posted by: indi | October 8, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft should hire him. If at 16 he's that good, I bet he's at least twice as smart as most of the people over there. I say congrats to him!

Posted by: Bob L | October 8, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

PoStME, you are amazing. So if we do not have enough prisons, we should not be arresting people who commit crimes? and if there is a crime, the victim must be stupid? I also call this "liberal logic."

Posted by: indi | October 8, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.,
Isn't the measure of a good computer hacker based on how many people DON'T know it was you?

Posted by: LinuxLover | October 8, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Why does this article NOT mention the fact his father is a Democrat? If he were a Republican they would have repeated that several times.

Posted by: Bobo | October 8, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

this is sad to hear people just blindly listen to camp mcain attempt to smear obama with. Maybe you all should read about mcain and obama before making comment 'cause half of you all are looking like blind sheep following mcain off a cliff while you look the other way accusing obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The real story is not this kid getting indicted. The real story is the poor judgement of a so called Governor. Who in their right mind including regular business people,would use a public sight for confidential email messages?

Posted by: kaku3 | October 8, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft should hire him. If at 20 he's that good, I bet he's at least twice as smart as most of the people over there. I say congrats to him!

Posted by: Bob L | October 8, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I fear that america will fall... not from the outside, but from within...
How truly that is today and looking at these posts..
that said...
Firearms sale, get em while they're still legal!

Posted by: anonymous1 | October 8, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Funny it bothers people Palins email was hacked,but George Bush signed a bill to allow the government to look at anyones email any time,all they have to say is they think your a threat to national security and wham,everything they want is in front of them!The other thing thats interesting is what a short lenth of time its taken to indict him,,and how long has the Sarah Palin investigation been going on?They should also investigate Cindi McCain and see who shes been affiliated with,there is a whole new world there.McCain and Palin arent mavericks,they are more like a stick horse and a nag.

Posted by: 1 | October 8, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This is just the first time this kid has been caught. If he gets his kicks hacking private info , it's only a matter of time before he will decide to convert the talent into money and then be in real trouble. This may be his life changing lucky break. I resent the levels to which we all have been pushed to protect our private info. Make an example of him.

Posted by: qwerty | October 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The neocon latino near the top who said Obama is a marxist typifies that brainwashed element in US society that the rest of the world looks at and laughs at.To people such as these, any kind of social reform that doesn't rely on the charitable whims of the rich is considered communism - which is kind of handy if the rich want to pay people as low wages as possible and have nothing to answer for, isn't it?The first thing Bush did in power was cut tax contributions for the super rich, wasn't it?Obama is a liberal.By the political terms of the rest of the developed world he qualifies as a centrist.
Elements of socialism - which, unlike atheistic Marxist/Leninism, comes in no small part from European protestant political dissent and had a strongly Christian flavour, especially in the UK (something to do with Jesus loving the poor and believing their lives were of equal worth to those of the rich, I seem to remember).That's why the current socialist President of Paraguay - a man whose election broke the violent 40 year dictatorship of the corrupt Colorado Party, is a bishop.There's no contradiction in terms.Liberation theology it's called, check it out.These are the priests the US trained death squads used to go after in central America in the 80s.Quite a few were assassinated.Some were raped.I defy you to feel proud.If you do there's something wrong with you.
So socialism is just that.The politics of a unified society.People need to take responsibility for each other.This invariably means there are economic regulations such as higher taxes for the rich and economic support for the poor.Social-ism.Not communism.Big difference.
Anyway, you can see why a man with 12 houses doesn't feel the need to subscribe to this, can't you.He's OK.So are his friends.

Posted by: IC | October 8, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Jail the kid. Liberal dems are crying his innocence. Marxist Barak Hussien Osama is going down baby!

Posted by: Diesel | October 8, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

palens a moron

Posted by: danmon55 | October 8, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Palin did not have any business email on the Yahoo account. That is what the kid said when he turned over the password that he made up (popcorn). He read all the messages and there was nothing there.

Those of you who stated that this is not really "hacking" are right. This is a stunt, but one that may get the kid in serious trouble.

Lot's of oddball comments on this blog. . .

Posted by: tune | October 8, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad he did what he did, but he was stupid in not covering his tracks good enough. Here are some interesting Sarah Palin facts. Please add your own.

Posted by: boraxx | October 8, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Americans clearly have no idea what identity theft means. This was invasion of privacy, it may be wrong and illegal, but it doesn't mean you can rename it to any crime of your choosing. It seems the American language is far removed from English in that no words have fixed meaning. "liberal" means "commie" which directly translates to "evil". Granted communism has failed spectacularly in every large scale incarnation we have seen. The fear and hatered of the "red menace" is just another tool used to herd the American sheep.

Look at the family unit, does your child pay their share of the rent? if not that's communism. Communism works when every one agrees because it empowers everyone. It takes one jerk to ruin it all. Capitalism treats the poor with contempt. So it empowers those who embrace it and tramples on everyone else.

The republicans privatised your economy and then bought back the bad debt. Americans redefine naivety.

Posted by: American Joke | October 8, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

He's the son of a senator, he won't be spending any time in jail...

Not that he deserves it. He really did the country a favor by showing what clueless idiot Palin is. He's a true patriot!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... I wonder how she does with State secrets? How can she protect a nation if she can't protect her own email account. Gosh darn it!

Posted by: Douglas Smith | October 8, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope he gets raped in prison.

Posted by: Jay | October 8, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Who tells you that the answer to any of the questions asked has to pertain to the question? Make up whatever you want answer the question and remember what you used ...I went to High School .. answer: x20xxx000 not Washington Central High School of underachievers...

Posted by: jamfetto | October 8, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

It's not the kids hacking e-mail accounts that we have to worry about. There are much more sinister goings-on that real security pro's work on daily.
Now, if you're a dope like Palin, who can't secure an e-mail account, especially when she knows that she's using it for "abuse of power", AGAIN, well.......

Posted by: Martuni | October 8, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

danmon55 types:

"palens a moron"

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Posted by: Matt | October 8, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Martuni | October 8, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope he comes clean and wises up, and stops snooping into other people's mailboxes without asking them. I do NOT hope he gets raped, or gets the max, or any such thing; such things only serves to make a problem worse, in this case.

Posted by: Yankee | October 8, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is Sarah Palin scamming her admirers into seeing her as some quaint tidbit of honesty on the world stage, just because her speech is out of the mainstream style? Folks, shake your heads! Sara Palin is not quaint! Wasilla is quaint. Sarah herself is a pretentious snob!
Try to imagine Sarah back in her own environment, and what do you see? She is the sniveling, backstabbing little gossip who will do and say anything to keep her place of conspicuous prominence in the junior high school in-crowd. The truth is no barrier to her. She gets around it with her complete arsenal of facial expressions, hand movements, finger gestures, postures, winks, grins, and smirks – none of which require “truth” to be effective.
But, try to pin her down and insist that she actually make sense, and you get that hollow-eyed stare that betrays an empty intellect. Truth is not a tool she knows how to wield. She is more comfortable with innuendo and snooty, cutesy, little manipulative gimmicks.
But folks! We are not electing the captain of the cheerleading squad; we are electing the person who could become the most powerful ruler on this planet. Do you really want her snippy little brain to be that person?

Posted by: sanityvoice2 | October 8, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I run several personal web sites and e-mail servers; I run a constant battle with hackers. When I get hacked, does the FBI run to my aid? Would Palin's sympathizers scream their outrage on my behalf? As an IT professional, my first thought about the hack news was: Palin is dumb. When I thought about her stepping outside the protection of her IT department, I thought: profoundly dumb. When I thought about her hiding from public scrutiny, I thought: political criminal (you see, I know someone who does something similar).

I zealously wish we allowed caning - or better, public flogging - for hackers. But what this kid did doesn't qualify as hacking: he didn't quietly steal data he could sell, or steal Palin's identity to frame her somehow. He announced his hack immediately - to make a point (possibly with bragging rights) that what she was doing was foolish. It would have been better if some watchdog group had done it, but would so many have been "woken up" that way?

As a former teenager and now as a parent of teenagers, I know kids sometimes turn off their brains - like getting pregnant while your mother is a governor striving to reduce underage pregnancy. No harm was intended or done here (except perhaps embarrassment) and it's disappointing that the FBI jumps on such a non-crime because of WHO was involved, but they're not available to help the rest of us unimportant "Joes" fighting real criminal hackers. Scare the bejesus out of him by showing him what jail looks like and give him six months' probation; that's what they do for kids caught shoplifting for the first time (which is a bigger crime than his, IMO).

Posted by: washpostonly | October 8, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Get real - he "hacked" a free Yahoo email account. Didn't steal money, didn't steal govt information. You park your car in the street, lock it, then leave the keys in a little gift basket on the hood, don't look shocked when its stolen, or if the cops think you were being dumb.

Posted by: He Did What ?!! | October 8, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"We are grateful to Palin for having the courage to mention Obama’s dangerous links. People in the United States are being manipulated to put a Marxist in power, just like people in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador."

..."Marxist"? I thought that he was a terrorist. You know, Palin says that he "pals around" with terrorists, which would of course make him a terrorist too, right?

Well, at least he's not also married to someone who is an outright traitor to the US, like her secesionist husband.

Posted by: jfc1 | October 8, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"I zealously wish we allowed caning - or better, public flogging - for hackers. But what this kid did doesn't qualify as hacking: he didn't quietly steal data he could sell, or steal Palin's identity to frame her somehow."

...ah, the "genius" of IT. It isn't "hacking" to access someone elses' email without their permission if it wasn't done either for financial gain or to frame the victim. At least not directly.

Thank you for that experienced, expert opinion, sir.

Posted by: jfc1 | October 8, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

1. The boy is going away for a few years;
2. He'll get a well deserved hair cut;
3. Maybe his cellmate will wipe that smirk off his face;
4. In two months, who will remember this;
5. Who cares?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Kid should be given a medal. He should be then hired to try to hack other systems and help ferret out other public officials who may be abusing the system in a similar fashion. The real issue is not what some college kid did in ten minutes to open an email account on a public server. It is the fact that an elected official - a governor no less, was using a public server for state business. At the very least this is a gross violation of public trust. The law mandates privacy and specific protocol for documenting state business such as emails. Ethic investigations such as what happened with Karl Rove and the white house demand that public officials conduct the public's business on systems that can be backed up and properly documented. This is one of the ways that we can help regulate bad behavior. Like Troopergate. These laws are in place as a result of a long history or abuse of power and insider misbehavior- Watergate, Iran Contra, Keating Five (in which Mr. John McCain was indicted for consorting with and taking bribes from Charles Keating who later served time in Federal prison banking fraud that cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars. Or if you prefer in more current times- Gonzalez lying under oath about subverting our constitution under direct orders by the current administration, or the Bush administration (Rice, Cheney, et al) falsifying information about the presence of WMD's in Iraq. It is now entirely possible to prosecute these potentially illegal (and in some instances treasonous) actions thanks to the information that can be mined from these records.
All the reactive, hate filled garbage that you repugs and neocons are spewing is accelarating your own demise. The more you attack and insult, the more you are losing the middle and the undecided voters over skirmishes like this. A huge margin of Americans are seeing things differently now, thanks. Palin is Bush in a skirt, with half the brain capacity. When old Pappy McCain chose Palin it was smelled of a desperate act- the cowardly Hail Mary of a doomed and dishonest man. And now, with the election drawing closer, Palin is helping to close ranks with all the fringe right wing hate mongering racist bible thumping trailer trash out there. Looks really impressive- great demographic repugs! After the blowout election and Obama is running things I suggest we prosecute Palin for Troopergate and then the email account fiasco- and after ensuring her felony conviction and that her political career is in the shredder I think it would be just and fair (and balanced!) to give her a reduced sentence and compell her to serve in Wasilla collecting the fees from the victims of rape- she can then explain in person her efforts to mandate that the victims of rape pay for their own evidence. And then she can finish out her community service by taking a course in evolution at the local community college (providing they have education available in Wasilla above the fifth grade level).

Posted by: thinktwice | October 8, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Since all he found were family photos and personal business that she is mandated by law NOT to use government email for, can folks at least safely conclude that someone on the LEFT engaged in slimeball anti-privacy tactics against a personal account no different than any of us would have?

The hypocrisy from the Left knows no bounds. We're all next when these clowns take office.

Posted by: Vern | October 8, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I have little sympathy for the ignorant Republican duo that fantasizes about governing. However, if someone was to put his hand in my rural mailbox and start going through my personal correspondence, I would want him to receive a sharp and memorable lesson that society will still not tolerate this kind of behaviour. It's not a political act of any kind.

Posted by: andro1 | October 8, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

McCain thought hacking was a cough!He sat in front of a microwave for an hour waiting for it to come on..Palin just wants her sex photos off the internet.

Posted by: 77 | October 8, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I just blogged about some defensive measures all webmail users can take to protect themselves. See
Being smart about webmail

Posted by: Michael Horowitz | October 8, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Is that all you people do these days to solve a problem? Lock people up in jail to rot for several years? We are talking about a 20-year-old young adult who did something stupid and reckless. Does he deserve a punishment? Absolutely. But if you think that this young man deserves to be placed in the same place as rapists and murderers, then shame on you.

Posted by: Vazquez | October 8, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

It's hard for me to fathom that any of you think that Barack Obama is a serious candidate. What does 8 years as a state senator and ostensibly 2 years as a U.S. Senator qualify this guy for anything above county dog catcher. All he has going for him is a cult-like following and catch phrases (oh yeah, his skin color...yeah, that's a reason to vote for someone). Basically folks, if he's elected, BOHICA.

Posted by: Incredulous | October 8, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama has no terrorist connections. Palin and McCain are lieing and saying all these false things to real idiots who will believe anything. Senator Obama was a child living in Hawaii during the 1960's when people were upset about the Vietnam War and wanted it to end. There was a military draft and young people were sent off to the jungle after a short time in a unit. It was hell. Trying to end the war was something that these young people were desperate to do. I don't blame them at all. Thousands of young Americans died in Vietnam.

Posted by: Vicki | October 9, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed at how fearful some people are when it comes to thinking for themselves, reading for themselves and searching the internet for themselves instead of letting just taking for granted what ANY broadcaster or journalist says...

Posted by: Tony Lee | October 9, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Explain to me why the government can use unwarranted spying on citizens, but citizens can't use unwarranted spying on government.

Who is watching the Watchers? Who is policing the police? Citizens have as much right to know about the actions and character of government, as government has a right to know those thing about us.

If this kid goes to jail, then they should place him in a cell next to George Bush.

Posted by: Steve | October 9, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Vicky, you're sweet, but you are living in fantasy land. Start reading better books!
re: email: This young man needs to go to jail, and needs to pay a fine. Of course, its seems that so often the Dems never have consequences. Case in point. Ayers, (homeland terrorst, cop killer, friend of Obama)who got off on a technicality.) Democrat Senator Byrd, KKK guy. But you Dems reward bad behavior by re-electing him to the senate. Obama (Dreams of My Father," I sought out Marxist Professors") and you guys reward his bad judgement (Ayers, Rezko, Marxist Profs, Surge isn't going to work, Acorn's lawyer - our state is still paying for that crumby group that stole the election from Dino Rossi), by nominating him to the highest position in your party. 'Course I know none of you care that he doesn't mind having babies (that have the audacity of hope to live through a botched abortion) killed so there's no point bringing that one up. What I want to know is how you guys live with yourself, voting for somenone like him.

Posted by: Debbie | October 9, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

hey y all. my teacher read my email without permission today. Can i get him put in jail for 5 years too? oh yeah, i think he's a democrat. do i get to keep the $250k? who do i call?

Posted by: trixie bunnygirl | October 9, 2008 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Locks are meant to keep honest people honest. If a dishonest person wants in, there's nothing you can do to stop him. IT security is similar. It's meant to keep honest people honest. Check with any IT security specialist...It's only a matter of time before a system is compromised.
This young man is guilty of information theft. Just because this information belongs to a Governor and VP candidate is just extra info for the pundits. If he was caught stealing your info or mine, the punishment should be the same. Start a new database modeled after the sex offender's database - the Internet Offender's Database. No access to broadband bandwidth for life. Only dial up modems. Now that's punishment.

Posted by: Rob-of-Indy | October 9, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

well hack mine and ill be at your door
see goofs i have me a little program
and a baseball bat it needs knee caps
for diner . so you poor little bleeding hearts dont like sarah . well lets just see what you can do running a state . ask you stupid a-- can i or cant i half of you cant even balance your check book and
work for 8 bucks an hour .says the violin

Posted by: SHILOH | October 9, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Even though i don't support either McCain or Palin i would say hat the kid should at least pay a little price as a punishment for his act. He will be well known for decades to come, as the guy who went to jail for revealing the secret e-mails of Gov. Palin a.k.a the worst choice of Veep ever made.

everyone should have to face the consequences for their acts. but then again i think Palin should also face some sort of questioning on the trooper scandal. After all everyone should pay a little price. So it would be FAIR!

Posted by: jain | October 9, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I've just been schooled on email security.
Changing all my account info now!

I bet this kid was wishing he was just a Congressman involved in fraud/racketeering or a prostitution ring.
Ya know, something he'd surely never get convicted of or serve time for.

Posted by: thomas | October 9, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

Palin = disaster

Posted by: jeffS | October 9, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

McCain Palin
McPain Palin
McPain Pain
Pain Pain
Double Pain

Posted by: jasonph | October 9, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Palin is a zebra

Posted by: Georgia | October 9, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Contrarian "Genius" Yeah,and Ted Kennedy
drove a woman off a bridge to her death,
what's your point?

The delicious irony here is that this kid
WILL be convicted of a felony,even if he
never serves a day in prison.

Felons can't vote.

Posted by: Really now | October 9, 2008 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Reading these comments you would think that at least according to Democrats and liberals somehow Sarah Palin is to blame. Remember, she was the victim of cybercrime, and the perpetrator is an adult (age 20) not a kid. Age may not equate to maturity, but a 20 year old college student should know better, especially if he has been more exposed to the political scene given that his father is a Democrat state representative. Furthermore, cybercrime is by definition a crime, so let's not diminish what he did or resort to blaming the victim. That's like excusing the attack on a woman because she was wearing makeup and tight jeans. By the way, for those criticizing Palin, the article clearly mentions that Yahoo doesn't let you set your own secret questions, so she only had a handful of possible security questions from which to choose.

Posted by: minnie | October 9, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

5 years in prison, 250000$ lol no wonder US is in crisis you print money faster then you make profit and you spend more then you get....and the worst thing is that you pull EU in this. No wonder my bank increased the intersts rate with 1%. Send GWB in prison for 5 years and make him pay 10 trilion $ - you debt to the world

Posted by: omg | October 9, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Democrats never change.

The kid, a Democrat, and son of a Democrat politician, deliberately commits a "HATE CRIME" against Sarah Palin, a person he has never met.

What an ass.

Probably got it from his father.

He should spend several years in jail for it.

The same amount of time he would spend in jail for the marijuana he was smoking when he hacked her account and broke the law..

Or, better yet, just fry the kid.

Posted by: Fry The Kid | October 9, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

LoL @ all the people wanting to make their own question. It is the same thing and will not solve your problem. Just think about it for a sec. To solve the problem you just have to answer the question wrong and remember that answer.

For example. What is your mother maiden name? answer = littlebubu (her nickname)

Posted by: Guest | October 9, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

yeah 33000$ per US citizen!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Kill all cops and Judges.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

If the talk backs to this article represent the reasoning skills of a cross section of the American public, then the housing mess and related financial crisis makes a lot more sense.

Posted by: American | October 9, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Why does everyone keep calling him a hacker, which he's not? A hacker is defined to be someone skilled with computers. He's not even a cracker, one who cracks into software or services. All he did was use Google and answer security questions, that is not cracking anything.

Posted by: Ben | October 9, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Let’s put that kid in the gas chamber. Our country is going to that direction anyway.

Posted by: Vice President | October 9, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Fry the Kid? Death penalty for hacking a FREE email account? Imagine catching all crimiinals and having that kind of 'justice'. There would be nobody left!!
It was wrong, he should be punished for it; and it should be very public so others will think twice (maybe) before doing a similar crime.

Posted by: Dave M | October 9, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

To go into anyone else's webmail, is of course, wrong. To go to jail over a stupid little tramp like Palin is just plain pathetic! This 20-year-old should have show much better judgement.

Posted by: sfr | October 9, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

You people do realize that you bastardized a news article board about someone that illegally entered anothers email account and publicly advertised it into a festering childlike political argument?

That's pretty amateur.

Posted by: Paul | October 9, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the punishment would be if it was not Palin.

Posted by: 5 years | October 9, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

He is an adult. He can vote is he can do the time/fine that is coming to him. My guess is he is not a bad kid and the democratic zeal pushed him over the edge to do this. The comments that the VP candidate is stupid and can not handle national security is the dumbest statement I have ever heard. This could have been anyone's account that got hacked and national security is not based on Yahoo security. Grow up people.

Posted by: John | October 9, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a dumbass and she deserved it. If anyone knew anything about her policies on endangered species, they'd know. Anonymous will not stop if she is elected. We are everywhere.

We are legion.

Expect us.

Posted by: David A. Non | October 9, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

but all of you say its ok to let the goverment look at all our stuff.

whats good for the goverment is also good for americans.

remember this is america.



IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends

(it is the Right of the People)

to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,

laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


Posted by: david,veteran | October 9, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I do wonder if they will charge Palin for sending work/state-related emails from her personal account instead of sending those from her government email account. She should have after all used the official work-related email account, not her personal one for those.

Posted by: Just Wondering | October 9, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

What a simple lesson these posting give in politics, Democrat: lawlessness is OK! Republican: obey the laws! I just read these postings and I think I’ll copy them and send them with my high school age granddaughter to her econ class, this would be a good thing for the students to see. Its a true eye opener. Her teacher asked each student to bring in an article demonstrating the philosophy differences between the two parties, this should get her an A+

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow. After reading these posts I now understand why this country is slowly going down the toilet. Many of you think that what this kid did, a crime, is OK. Many also blame her I believe just because she is a republican. Obviously many of you had a bad up bringing. Where is your sense of fairness and sense of responsibility. Unfortunely I thing we are going to get Obama as our new President and this thinking will become much more wide spread. For some reason more and more people think they can do no wrong and the government owes them everything. The only hope may be that things get so bad that we have a backlash against this liberalism.

Posted by: Jon | October 9, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Did he really say "screensh#ts"?

Posted by: smashface | October 9, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

He should be let off. If he goes down they should find every hacker who does the same and give the same treatment. Because its Palin doesnt make it special.

Infact why should you be able to find out as much as you can who potentially will be your president and in control of you for the next X years ?

All seems abit dodgy to me

Posted by: Person from UK | October 9, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I guess this really shows the american people that asnyone can acess important information through the internet. This must be why I constantly get letters in the mail about people have stolen the files.Well guess what our allies are doing?
This Mr.David was showing American's that anyone can be the victim.I think that the kid should have to pay 250,000 for hacking the account.Yeah right,yahoo-mail is not a secure account anyway, it does serve her right.She should have just put her password gov. of alaska.(hee hee) I just hate that they have to pick on her, seems to a little bit of politics are involved.They are being somewhat sexiest, this goes to show the media had their field day and this guy David, son of Rep. from Tenn;I smell something fishy here!

Posted by: carol08 | October 9, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Well my goodness, a 20 year old with basic computer skills figured it out. I guess that shows us middle to older guys what we should do to protect our emails. Since the Alaska government didn't want to use a private or internal emails, I think it is fair game. Why didn't the state government have it's own email server that is protected. If you use yahoo, google, hotmail. etc. You are out there! I knew a kid who was 14 that hacked into the pentagon servers way back in 17 years ago. Internet security for government use should be a priority and apparently Alaska didn't want to spend the money.

Posted by: waterfordneighbor | October 9, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

These conversations above & below are a waste of time ....let's just make some snowballs and throw them at each other...or a pillow fight would be nice as well.. (I get the the goose down)

Posted by: Flip | October 9, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if Daddy had anything to do with it or knew about it?


Posted by: Anon | October 9, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I think 5 years is a little steep for cracking a Yahoo account. That kind of hack is so basic that most of the kids I knew in college have done it. They'd all be broke and still in jail right now if they all got the "maximum" sentence. By the way, did anyone notice what the hacker himself, said about "conducting state business" through that account? He said that he didn't find any evidence and was hoping that he eventually would.

Just wanted to clarify that.

Posted by: Abraham | October 9, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

These conversations above & below are a waste of time ....let's just make some snowballs and throw them at each other...or a pillow fight would be nice as well.. (I get the the goose down and no slushies)

Posted by: Flip | October 9, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Carried over his father's and all other politician's attitude; we make the laws that the rest of you have to obey.

Posted by: Robert | October 9, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Innocent until proven guilty. Just because he was questioned and came in willingly when asked, does not mean he's guilty.

If he is found guilty, then you can yell about hanging him, his father, and anyone he's ever passed on the street. But at least be an American and give hiim the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Innocent Man | October 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Okay, first of all, whom ever accessed the e-mail did not steal her identity or use the account for any nefarious activities. I believe the real motivation for this hack was to see if she had been using an account for official government business.

Be it right or wrong, I think she was foolish for making her yahoo account anything resembling her status as a public offical. Even more foolish for using secret questions that were so easily taken from her websites etc.

Remember that paddellock only keeps honest people honest.

If the young man is found guility then sure he should be punished. But right now he has not had a trial and I think the next few months will be interesting to see how things pan out. Everyone seems so calm I wonder what else was in Palin's private e-mail that should have been in her offical email.

Posted by: Jeb | October 9, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Is Palin being charged with violating the State law against officials using side e-mail accounts to hid communications of State business? Why isn't she?

BTW, why is it they can put this effort into tracking down someone who hacks an e-mail account and can't seem to figure out who starts viruses and destructive spyware?

Posted by: Javalation | October 9, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

He's just being stupid. But there's a lot of unethical things everyone can do, but we decide not to do it because we get the bad feeling in our gut.

He should serve the time for the crime, even though he probably had a good butt kicking from his father already.

Posted by: Vince | October 9, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If your e-mail address, security question responses, and passwords are so easy to figure out that someone can spend a few minutes on Google and retrieve them, your account has NOT been hacked - you handed it out on a silver platter.

What this kid did does not require a degree in computer science. He should not be prosecuted, but rewarded for proving how inept Palin is. As for Palin, she should be the one under investigation for using an online-archived mail service like Yahoo to send and receive information regarding confidential and sensitive state matters, when she had a secure state-issued e-mail account she was SUPPOSED to be using. She had been WARNED more than once not to use Yahoo.

Do you want someone that naive to be chatting about U.S. security matters on Yahoo or G-Mail?

Posted by: Just Annie | October 9, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

anon ftw

Posted by: anon | October 9, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The kid need not worry...for a price our president can simply commute his sentence. He can even use the same pen that let the treasonous flunky who betrayed our CIA agent walk free. We may even get lucky, and see Palin indicted for using a private computer to conduct government business....AFTER she's indicted for malfeasance in the Troopergate scandal. One can only hope !

Posted by: thorninurside | October 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Avon Lady thought that Yahoo was secure since it was on her own computer.She is not as dumb as the morons who are supporting her and the super rich, greedy, bigoted, racists that placed her on the ticket.

Posted by: jay | October 9, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ignorance is bliss.....

Posted by: simpleton | October 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The kid's going to prison - you can bet the ranch on that. Oh wait - you thought betting the ranch on a sub-prime was a no brainer. Never mind.

Posted by: BanjoJim | October 9, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Just a misguided young man.

Palin continues to draw unbelievable crowds around the country. This election is "in play."

Posted by: jodi | October 9, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Lets just clarify

Sql injection = hacking

Server intrusion = hacking

Client side exploit code = hacking

Downloading and using hacking software written by others (script kiddy-ing) = hacking

Guessing security questions = NOT HACKING!!!

No laws were broken , guessing security questions is not against the law. Therefore the kid can't get into trouble for this.

But who am I kidding , of course he will. They will bs some law and it will become some sort of scandal because journalists don't know the difference between a hacker and a person who is good at guessing stuff.

Posted by: oleg | October 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The first thing that needs to be addressed is.. this dipsh!t needs to stop being called a hacker. Guessing a few password recovery questions don't make him a hacker... Just some college kid with too much time on his hands. Furthermore, Palin should be charged for violating the State law against officials using personal e-mail accounts to hide state business. If she is naive enough to have obvious answers to her account, she's just like any other stupid internet user and got what she deserves.

Posted by: Opm | October 9, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Why didn't the state government have it's own email server that is protected."

They do. Palin for some reason decided not to use that one for some of her emails, but used the personal email account instead.

Posted by: D.L. | October 9, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

What worries me, if the son doesn't recognize right from wrong, How far does the apple fall from the tree?

Posted by: M.W. | October 9, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

A simple prank by a 20-year old and it turns into political bickering.

This is no longer America and we are no longer Americans working for a common purpose. Our elected officials, with the aid of the media, have successfully divided us against ourselves We are in two camps and at each other's throats. Why did the Washington politicians do this? Because if we were united for a common purpose, their behavior at our expense would rightly enrage us. But by using his ruse, misdirection at it's finest, they are able to pillage our country while we bicker amongst ourselves.

Wake up America and see what's going on. If you are a Democrat or Republican, understand that your party officials DO NOT represent you. They are out only for themselves. Your party winning the election has nothing to do with you. It's only an illusion, a vicarious success to keep your eyes from what's really happening.

Posted by: Anon | October 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The core of the problem here is the users, Yahoo wouldn't need to provide these facilities if their users didn't forget their passwords. The internet has been dumbed down for the "hockey mom" and using easily guessible answers is the crime. Never use publicly accessible information, dictionary words, names, you're inviting someone cracking your email, bank details.

She was lucky that it was a plucky young inquisitive chap that cracked it, not someone with malicious intent. As there could have been some damage; if he'd quickly searched for sites she'd signed up with her yahoo account, like facebook, amazon, paypal, and switched it to another email account by requesting a password reminder be sent to her email.

5 years, for what, using publicly availible info, that's pretty harsh.. mind you at the rate the dollar's diving, people being made homeless, prison will probably seem like luxury!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

The core of the problem here is the users, Yahoo wouldn't need to provide these facilities if their users didn't forget their passwords. The internet has been dumbed down for the "hockey mom" and using easily guessible answers is the crime. Never use publicly accessible information, dictionary words, names, you're inviting someone cracking your email, bank details.

She was lucky that it was a plucky young inquisitive chap that cracked it, not someone with malicious intent. As there could have been some damage; if he'd quickly searched for sites she'd signed up with her yahoo account, like facebook, amazon, paypal, and switched it to another email account by requesting a password reminder be sent to her email.

5 years, for what, using publicly availible info, that's pretty harsh.. mind you at the rate the dollar's diving, people being made homeless, prison will probably seem like luxury!

Posted by: jim | October 9, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse





Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | October 10, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse




BE A REAL AMERICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | October 10, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse






Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | October 10, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

+++++++++++ FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED +++++++

Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | October 10, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Guys you are good. But I have another idea. Let’s put two parties together, it will be Repablo-Democratic Party.
We don’t care. Nation doesn’t care. There are not serving us anyway.
There are not “From the people for the people”, there are from the people for themselves. It is a time for all of us to come together: one Nation under God – America. God bless the souls of our Forefathers.

Forget about that kid, if you want something good, please let’s punish that Karl Rove.

Posted by: Patriot | October 10, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

To think that Obama's connection to Ayers is innocent is beyund naive. Of course who he associates with matters - Ayers Wright, Farrakhan...

Not to mention whats going on with ACORN and voter registration frtaud.
Obama is the nanchurian candidate. Wake up people.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: Independent | October 10, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

To think that Obama's connection to Ayers is innocent is beyund naive. Of course who he associates with matters - Ayers Wright, Farrakhan...

Not to mention whats going on with ACORN and voter registration fraud.
Obama is the nanchurian candidate. Wake up people.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: Independent | October 10, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse


it was worth it

Posted by: lol | October 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The kid should be rewarded for helping expose Sarah Palin. Stupid Palin use of Yahoo email is just an example of how can she just a breath away from taking over McCain if anything happens to him while Pres. of this great nation! Glad her "small brain" is being exposed. Thank the kid who happen to get into her unsecured email account! Hope Palin gets impeached for her lies...

Posted by: concerned citizen | October 11, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Admire the Kernell kid for his honesty at least. Palin never admits into any wrong doings. If she were the hacker, do you think she would be willing to admit any wrong doing? She would just wink and lie cunningly around it when interrogated so disgustingly. Hope and pray the kid does not go to jail. Fine is good enough to teach him a lesson. The kid could have innocently tumbled into Palin's account which was not very secured... such a dumb act of a supposedly governor of Alaska a position she got by simple LUCK!

Posted by: concerned citizen | October 11, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

He's cute and so soft. I hope he visits my prison.

Posted by: Bubba | October 12, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

a /b/rother's got to do what a /b/rother's got to do. he did it for the lolz.


When a joke gets played on you, it is the end of world. Now is a good time to kill your self.

Posted by: anonymous | October 12, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The real issue here is that Palin, just like all the other clowns of Karl Rove's ilk, have been using public mail services instead of the genuine gov email to skirt retention laws and scrutiny. If she were playing by the book, this wouldn't even be an issue now would it?

Posted by: State Secrets | October 14, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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