Saturday, 10 September 2016

On 01:55 by admin   1 comment
WASHINGTON — Two North Carolina men were arrested on Thursday in the hacking of the personal email accounts of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and other senior officials.

The men — Andrew Boggs, 22, of North Wilkesboro, and Justin Liverman, 24, of Morehead City — were accused of working with a prolific hacking group called Crackas With Attitude. Prosecutors said the group had targeted American officials, their families and United States computer systems from October 2015 to February 2016.

The F.B.I. said that members of the group had tricked people into providing information that had allowed them to gain access to the victims’ accounts, a technique known as social engineering.

At least three teenage members of the group lived in Britain, the authorities said. Earlier this year, the authorities there said they had arrested the group’s suspected ringleader, a 17-year-old known as Cracka.

In one instance, Cracka impersonated a Verizon employee to gain access to the Verizon account of the director of the C.I.A., John O. Brennan, the F.B.I. said. Personal information that Cracka obtained about Mr. Brennan from Verizon allowed him to subsequently change the password to Mr. Brennan’s private AOL email account.

One of the files stolen from Mr. Brennan included his application for a security clearance, which was later made public.

After the hacking, the F.B.I. said, Mr. Boggs and another member of the group had offered their assistance to Cracka “with whatever we can help with.”

Mr. Boggs said he wanted to carry on Cracka’s work if the group’s leader was arrested. “I know he’ll receive a harsh sentence because our government doesn’t like being embarrassed,” he said in private Twitter messages.

Mr. Boggs and Mr. Liverman were charged with multiple hacking-related crimes in federal court in Alexandria, Va. They are expected to make their first court appearances next week.

In a lengthy criminal complaint, the F.B.I. said that Boggs and Liverman were living with each of their parents at the time of the hacking.

Among the group’s other victims were James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, and top F.B.I. officials.

The hacking group also targeted local law enforcement, the complaint said, making a false bomb threat to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and publishing information about more than 80 law enforcement officers in the Miami area. Also, the group is accused of hacking into Justice Department systems and carrying out what is known as “phonebombing” — blitzing a person with multiple harassing calls and text messages.

The complaint said that Mr. Liverman’s computer had information on about 20,000 F.B.I. and 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. The data included names, titles, telephone numbers and email addresses. The complaint said the British authorities searched the home of Cracka in February, the same time the hacking group was shut down.

1 comment:

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