America’s most senior intelligence official has his phone, email hacked

James ClapperA member of a hacker group that took responsibility for breaking into the personal email account of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency last year has now hacked the email of the most senior intelligence official in the United States. In October 2015, the hacker group referred to by its members as “Crackas With Attitude” —CWA for short— claimed it was behind the hacking of an AOL personal email account belonging to John Brennan, who heads the CIA. Less than a month later, the CWA assumed responsibility for breaking into an online portal used by US law enforcement to read arrest records and share sensitive information about crimes involving shootings. Shortly after the second CWA hack, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert to all government employees advising them to change their passwords and be cautious about suspicious emails and other phishing attempts.

On Monday, an alleged member of CWA contacted Motherboard, an online media outlet belonging to Vice Media, and alleged that the group had managed to hack into the personal email account of James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper’s job is to help synchronize the operations of US intelligence agencies and to mediate between the US Intelligence Community and the Executive. According to CWA, clapper’s personal telephone and Internet service had also been compromised, as had his spouse’s personal email, which is hosted by Yahoo! services. The alleged CWA member told Motherboard that the forwarding settings of Clapper’s home telephone had been changed. As a result, calls made to the DNI were being forwarded to the headquarters of the Free Palestine Movement in California. Shortly afterwards, Free Palestine Movement executives confirmed that they had received a number of phone calls for Clapper. Last year, when they hacked the email of the director of the CIA, the CWA dedicated their action to the Free Palestine Movement.

Motherboard said that a spokesman at the Office of the DNI, Brian Hale, confirmed that Clapper’s personal email and telephone service had indeed been hacked. He told Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai that Office of the DNI was “aware of the matter” and had “reported it to the appropriate authorities”. The FBI was contacted as well but did not respond.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 14 January 2016 | Permalink

8 Responses to America’s most senior intelligence official has his phone, email hacked

  1. Ironic and amusing at a certain level. With the reputed ‘back doors’ built into encryption to stymie privacy on behalf of Big Brother (or Big Sister in the case of Diane Feinstein) you’d think these people would be adverse to using commercial accounts such as AOL. Of course human nature being what it is, likely it’s only a matter of time before sophisticated hackers nail one of these morons who’d been careless with highly classified information in a personal account.

  2. C. Jones says:

    When top intelligence officials task with protecting our country from cyber security or terror threats are compromised by the very foes they are trying to neutralize there is obviously a serious problem which needs addressing. It may take decades to build a solid reputable career supported by credibility and only minutes to destroy with a few key strokes of a mouse.

  3. C. Jones says:

    What is to cause or prevent some terror group from recruiting young talent hacker(s) and using them against us? Certainly recruiting a teenager via RASCAL is easy fodder for any reasonably trained intelligence or terror operator.

  4. C. Jones says:

    Sorry type”O” “RASCALS”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hah! That’s hilarious. I love how teenagers at home can thwart CIA upper management’s communications. There is no better case for cryptography than this, but the idiots in the US intelligence will never support it.

  6. C. Jones says:

    Federal employees or those connected with sensitive government work should NEVER use or sign up for free e-mail accounts –period. Definitely they should not be accessed from their official office computer sytems. From a Cryptographic perspective these types of accounts offer little if any form of privacy protection. Granted there are some apps like Mail Envelope using RSA, but still – it is risky business.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @Ronald Thomas West

    I’m quite sure that these people have no idea what they are doing or talking about when it comes to computers or computers security. They don’t know any better and think anyone who does is a terrorist.

  8. Mike says:

    I wonder if there is any evidence that the group or individuals in the group are already working on behalf of a nation. And if there is any indication that the highly public nature of this is deflecting from other, more damaging, intrusions or hacks.

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