Teen Hacker Group Targets US Spy Chief

  Headlines were made when a group of “teenage hackers” broke into the CIA director’s AOL email account in 2015. Now, the group is back and have set their sights on James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. The teenage hacking group call themselves “Crackas With Attitude” were last heard in October when they hacked CIA Director John Brennan’s email account to allegedly gain access to tools and portals used by US law enforcement agencies. Their exploits at the time even had the FBI issuing a nationwide alert to government officials, warning them of the attacks. Now, one of the group’s hackers called “Cracka” reached out to a Motherboard journalist this week. He claimed that he had successfully breached several accounts belonging to James Clapper. This included the home telephone and Clapper’s Verizon FIOS internet account along with his wife’s email. Crucially, the hacker also stated that he gained access to Clapper’s personal email account. Beyond these breaches, Cracka also claimed that the settings were changed on Clapper’s FIOS account in such a way that every call to his house number would be forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement. Cracka told Motherboard:

I’m pretty sure they don’t even know they’ve been hacked.

To the contrary, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the hack the publication.

We’re aware of the matter and we reported it to the appropriate authorities.

A look into public records revealed that the phone number revealed to Motherboard did belong to the household of James Clapper. In light of these events, an information security expert who worked over two decades in the US Special Operations Command noted that the hack looked like “more of a social engineering hack than a real hack.” He wasn’t dismissive of the feat, stating that “every serious hack starts with social engineering.” Related read: Natalie Blackbourne on Social Engineering For his part, Cracka claimed he did not seek any personal attention and asked Motherboard not to name him. “I just wanted the gov [sic] to know people aren’t f**cking around, people know what they’re doing and people don’t agree #FreePalestine.” Upon attaining notoriety for hacking CIA Director John Brennan’s email, the hacking group also claimed their actions at the time were in support of Palestines. Image credit: Flickr.