NASHVILLE - State Rep. Mike Kernell said today that he was aware of Internet rumors about his son being the subject of speculation that he accessed the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Asked whether he or his son, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, had been contacted by authorities investigating the break-in of Palin's account, he responded:
As far as his 20-year-old son, David of 3583 Allandale Dr., Memphis, TN 38111 (901) 454-1113, he said: "I can't say. That doesn't mean he has or hasn't (been contacted by investigators)."
Kernell, D-Memphis, cited the father-son relationship.
He said he had talked to his son today, but that he talks to his son regularly.
He declined further comment.
Attempts to reach the younger Kernell for comment were not successful.
The FBI and the Secret Service started a formal investigation Wednesday into the hacking, according to the Associated Press.
A first-hand account reported by the Associated Press suggested her account was vulnerable because a hacker was able to impersonate her online and obtain her password.
The alleged hacker, using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, posted Wednesday to a forum on the website 4chan about how he used Yahoo! Mail's password-recovery tool to obtain the Alaska's governor password.
"i am the lurker who did it, and i would like to tell the story," email@example.com wrote.
The hacker guessed that Alaska's governor had met her husband in high school, and knew the Republican vice presidential candidate's date of birth and home Zip code, the Associated Press reported.
Using those details, the hacker tricked Yahoo Inc.'s service into assigning a new password, "popcorn," for Palin's e-mail account, according to a chronology of the crime published on the Web site where the hacking was first revealed.
Yahoo declined to comment today on details of the investigation, citing Palin's privacy and the sensitivity of such investigations, according to the Associated Press.
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