Two men charged with hacking CIA director and other high-ranking officials

(credit: cia.gov)

Federal authorities have arrested two men on charges they were part of a group that broke into the private e-mail accounts of high-ranking US government officials and a Justice Department computer system.

Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, of Morehead City, North Carolina, were part of a group calling itself “Crackas with Attitude,” federal prosecutors alleged. Although an FBI affidavit filed in the case didn’t identify the targeted government officials by name, The Washington Post and other news organizations, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said they included CIA Director John Brennan, then-Deputy FBI Director Mark Giuliano, National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper, and other high-ranking officials. The group also used its unauthorized access to a Justice Department management system to obtain and later publish the names, phone numbers, and other personal details of more than 29,000 FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials.

According to the affidavit, the group didn’t rely on computer hacking to break into restricted accounts. Instead, they used social engineering, in which they impersonated their targets and various IT support personnel purporting to help the victims. On October 11, 2015, one of the suspects allegedly accessed the account of one target, identified by the WaPo as Brennan, by posing as a technician from Verizon. The suspect then tricked another Verizon employee into resetting the password for Brennan’s Internet service. Prosecutors said the suspects went on to take over a Brennan AOL account.

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Author: WITS Curators

Bo Washington is a Certified Computer Specialist and the owner and operator of Washington IT Solutions, a local Bartlesville computer repair company. He has been fixing computers since the late 90’s and has clocked up thousands of hours performing hardware upgrades, system builds, software installations, virus and spyware removal using the most up to date techniques and general computer services.

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