The U.S. Justice Department today announced that a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tennessee has indicted the 20-year-old son of a state lawmaker in connection with the compromise of Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account.
David Kernell (left), who was identified for a while as the alleged hacker, is expected to be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley.
From the announcement:
The single count indictment, returned on Oct. 7, 2008, and unsealed today, alleges that on approximately Sept. 16, 2008, Kernell, a resident of Knoxville, obtained unauthorized access to Gov. Palin’s personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password. According to the indictment, after answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access to the e-mail account, Kernell allegedly read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information. According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password that he had created, thus providing access to the account by others.
Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release.
* Photo credit: LA Times.