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Sarah Palin’s email was Hacked, But Script Kiddy was Sloppy

Posted on 18 September 2008

It just gets worse, folks.  An entity named Anonymous hacked into Gov. Palin’s email account, confirmed by McCain-Palin Campaign Manger Rick Davis today when he issued this statement: “This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”

Gawker posted screenshots of Sarah Palin’s personal Yahoo Email account, complete with pictures of her family and personal phone numbers, not to mention Sarah’s personal contact list was also published.

Tonight on Bill O’Reilly’s show, there’s strong reason to believe that the Registrant of Gawker.com will be taken down very soon since the FBI and other federal agencies are now involved.  More will be released tomorrow on Bill’s show since he’ll be making personal phone calls to make sure the red-tape is cut cleanly.

Who is Gawker.com anyway?

Registrant:
BLOGWIRE HUNGARY SZELLEMI ALKOTAST HASZNOSITO KFT
Blogwire
Magyar u. 36
Budapest – 1053 – 112233
HU
[email protected] +36.12126559524 Fax: –

Domain Name: gawker.com

Looks like they’re based out of Budapest, Hungary?  I doubt that.  Their IP resolves to a datacenter located in New York: 69.60.7.199.

OrgName:    Datagram, Inc.
OrgID:      DATAGR-1
Address:    33 Whitehall Street
City:       New York

StateProv:  NY

PostalCode: 10004

Country:    US
OrgTechName:   Kim, Jae
OrgTechPhone:  +1-212-727-9500
OrgTechEmail:  [email protected]

Memo to US Secret Service: Net proxy may pinpoint Palin email hackers

Memo to law enforcement investigators tracking down who broke into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account: Gabriel Ramuglia might be a good place to start.

The 25-year-old webmaster and entrepreneur is the operator of Ctunnel.com, the browsing proxy service used by the group that hacked into the vice presidential candidate’s personal email account and exposed its contents to the world. While he has yet to examine his logs, he says there’s a good chance they will lead to those responsible, thanks to some carelessness on their part.

“Usually, this sort of thing would be hard to track down because it’s Yahoo email, and a lot of people use my service for that,” he told El Reg in a phone interview. “Since they were dumb enough to post a full screenshot that showed most of the [Ctunnel.com] URL, I should be able to find that in my log.”

Ramuglia got into the proxy business a few years ago, after schools began blocking access to an online game site he used to co-own. Pretty soon, people began using the proxy service to access YouTube, Gmail, MySpace, and dozens of other sites that are routinely blocked by IT departments.

To prevent abuse of the service – such as the occasional bomb threat or other illegal act that’s been known to happen – Ramuglia logs each user’s IP address, along with the time and web destination. That often isn’t enough to track down people who access extremely popular websites. But in this case, the perpetrators included a whole string of random-looking characters when posting screenshots of Palin’s hacked account. That will probably be enough for him to pinpoint the proverbial needle in the haystack.

The information at the moment is on a server at a Chicago colocation site owned by FDC Servers. Logs are automatically flushed after seven days, so the clock is ticking for law enforcement, who presumably are under intense pressure to protect the privacy of a candidate for the White House. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Ctunnel.com was only one of multiple anonymization services the email hackers used to cover their tracks, but there’s only one way to find out.

Ramuglia said if he is contacted by law enforcement officials he will probably give them the information they seek.

The breach of Palin’s account “is pretty clearly against my terms of service,” he said. “As exciting as it is to be in the news, this is not the type of activity I can encourage by any means.”

UPDATE: 09/18/08

The son of state Rep. Mike Kernell has been contacted by authorities in connection with a probe into the hacking of the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Kernell confirmed on Thursday.

Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, said his 20-year-old son David had been contacted by authorities investigating the hacking of Palin’s personal email account.
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The FBI and the Secret Service started a formal investigation on Wednesday into the hacking.

David Kernell is a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Mike Kernell said he spoke to his son on Thursday, as he does on a regular basis.

Kernell otherwise declined to comment, or discuss his son’s whereabouts and whether he was in custody.

MAJOR UPDATE: Meet the Hacker — David Kernell, Son of Democratic Tennessee State Legislator

The son of state Rep. Mike Kernell has been contacted by authorities in connection with a probe into the hacking of personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Kernell told The Tennessean.


Pic courtesy of My Pet JawaKernell, a Memphis Democrat, said his 20-year-old son David had been contacted by authorities investigating the hacking of Palin’s personal e-mail account, the newspaper reported on its Web site this afternoon.

The FBI and the Secret Service started a formal investigation Wednesday into the hacking, according to the Associated Press.