A Tennessee state legislator has confirmed that his son, a 20-year-old student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, is the person being named on blogs and message boards in connection with the hacking of Gov. Sarah Palin's e-mail account, a Nashville paper reported late Thursday.
[ Learn more about the lessons of the Sarah Palin e-mail hack from Roger Grimes in the Security Advisor blog. ]
Kernell, a Democrat, represents District 93, which encompasses the University of Memphis and other parts of southeast Memphis. He declined additional comment to the Tennessean .
On Wednesday, someone identified only as "rubico" posted a message to 4chan.org's popular /b/ board claiming to have gained access to Palin's e-mail by using Yahoo's password reset feature. Although the post was deleted from 4chan.org, a copy was sent to conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who published it on her blog Wednesday.
Others linked the rubico handle on 4chan.org to the e-mail address "email@example.com," which was in turn linked to David Kernell through Internet searches that uncovered connections between him, the username and the e-mail address on such sites as YouTube. Kernell's YouTube page has since been closed. The firstname.lastname@example.org address was marked as "temporarily locked because of security concerns" by Yahoo early Friday.
In a blog that Kernell began in 2003 -- and which holds only three entries -- he identified himself as "rubicox", a variation of rubico10. Kernell also used the rubicox handle on a chess site linked from his blog.
Others made more unusual connections between the hacker dubbed rubico10 and Kernell.
In the posting to 4chan.org's /b/ board, rubico10 said that after gaining access to Palin's account, "I promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower."
"Just dawned on me why he used the password 'popcorn'," said a user going by "akgoldrush" on the blog littlegreenfootballs.com. "Duh. Getting a little slow in my old age."