Trial of accused Palin email hacker delayed until spring
David Kernell, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., was indicted last month on charges he broke into Palin's Yahoo email account and then publicly posted some of the contents without permission. He is accused of using Yahoo's password recovery tool to crack the credentials required to gain access to Palin's inbox.
Kernell, the son of Democratic Tennessee state Rep. Mike Kernell, was originally scheduled to go to trial next month, but the date was moved on Friday to April 20 to allow attorneys from both sides more time to prepare.
According to the indictment, Kernell -- who used the online aliases "rubico" and "rubico10" -- reset the password of Palin's account to "popcorn" by correctly answering a number of personal questions that the Alaska governor had created to recover her password should she forget it.
These included her birthday, ZIP code and where she met her husband, Todd. Kernell, in a personal account he posted to an internet forum, said he used simple Google searches to determine the responses.
Authorities said Kernell, once he reset the password, accessed the account, where he read the contents – which included photos and contact information – and made screenshots of a number of emails. He posted several of the messages to whistleblower website Wikileaks, which were picked up by several other news sources.
Kernell's attorney, Wade Davies, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.