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Closing in on the Palin e-mail hacker Updated

By Michelle Malkin  •  September 18, 2008 05:13 PM

Scroll for updates…conflicting info on Kernell

The Tennessean reports what blogs have been buzzing about all day:

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.

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.

Computerworld gives credit to this blog for telling the story behind the e-mail hacking, and reports that the Web proxy firm Ctunnel is now working with the feds, as owner Gabriel Ramuglia had promised he would do if asked:

The Webmaster of a proxy service called Ctunnel.com, which may have been used by a hacker to illegally access the e-mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is working with law enforcement authorities to track down the person behind the break-in.

Gabriel Ramuglia, the Athens, Ga.-based Webmaster of Ctunnel, said today that URLs in screenshots of Palin’s e-mail — photos were posted online yesterday on 4chan.org and other sites — suggested that whoever accessed her Yahoo! account had used his proxy service.

Ramuglia said in an interview that he was contacted by FBI officials last night and asked to retain computer logs of the last few days’ activity on his service and make sure nothing is deleted. Ramuglia, who normally stores only a week’s worth of log data, said he would not have deleted anything anyway because of the illegal nature of what had happened.

Ramuglia is now in the process of importing more than 80GB worth of log data into a database for analysis. He said he’s reasonably confident he can help authorities sift through the logs and trace access back to the originating IP address — especially because the self-professed hacker has admitted using just one proxy service to access Palin’s account.

The alleged hacker said in an online posting that he gained access by simply resetting the password to Palin’s Yahoo! e-mail account using its password recovery service. That’s according to a description of events posted on a blog site run by conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin…

The Associated Press is still not cooperating with the feds. But it has published a new story about Ramuglia’s cooperation — and has recycled the story behind the hacking as an “original” report.

Oh, yeah, and they’re still blaming Sarah Palin for making herself a victim of the crime.

Keep carrying that Obama water, AP.


Update: Conflicting info on whether Kernell is being investigated. See The Other McCain for the twists and turns.


9/17 Sarah Palin’s private e-mail hacked, family photos raided; cesspool blog gloats; feds investigate

9/17 The story behind the Palin e-mail hacking

9/17 Gawker lies again

9/18 Palin e-mail hack update: AP won’t help feds, tech operator will

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