By Robert McMillan
October 8, 2008
IDG News Service
The college student charged with illegally accessing Alaska Governor
Sarah Palin's e-mail has been accused of computer intrusion before,
although last time he faced only an afternoon detention.
David Kernell allegedly broke into a school server about eight years ago
while studying at Eastern Hills Middle School in Harker Heights, Texas,
one of his former teachers said Wednesday.
Kernell, 20, was charged Wednesday with one felony count of accessing a
protected computer for allegedly breaking into the private Yahoo e-mail
account of Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate. Some of
Palin's private e-mail was eventually published on the Wikileaks Web
site last month.
In a description of the attack, an anonymous hacker named "rubico,"
suspected to be Kernell, said he got into the account by guessing the
high school where Palin met her husband and tricking Yahoo's password
reset system into letting him into the account.
According to Kernell's former history teacher, Tracey McDaniels, this
isn't the first time the student has been accused of using clever
guesswork to get into a computer.
The other incident allegedly occurred around 2000, when Kernell was in
the seventh grade. Kernell and an accomplice guessed the password to a
server used to store teaching materials at the school and were able to
log on to the system, McDaniels said.
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