High school student claims he hacked into the account of CIA Director John Brennan
A high school student who smokes pot has claimed to have hacked into the private account of the CIA Director, John Brennan. The hacker told NY Post that the head of the CIA was using his own personal AOL account to stash work-related documents and he hacked into them.
According to him, Brennan’s private account held sensitive files including his 47-page application for top-secret security clearance. The hacker told The Post that Brennan knew his emails had hacked.
Other e-mails stored in Brennan’s non-government account contained the Social Security numbers and personal information of more than a dozen top American intelligence officials, as well as a government letter about the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects, according to the hacker.
The case has been handed over to FBI and other federal agencies, who are now investigating the hacker according to sources in law enforcement.
“I think they’ll want to make an example out of him to deter people from doing this in the future,” said a source who described the situation as “just wild” and “crazy.”
“I can’t believe he did this to the head of the CIA,’’ the source added. “[The] problem with these older-generation guys is that they don’t know anything about cyber-security, and as you can see, it can be problematic.”
The hacker was in contact with The Post and in a series of phone conversations, he revealed that he was an American high-school student who is not Muslim and was motivated by opposition to US foreign policy and support for Palestine.
He wouldn’t reveal his name or say where he lived but said he used @phphax Twitter account to publicise his exploits.
He explained “CWA” stood for “Crackas With Attitude,” which he said referred to him and a classmate with whom he smokes pot.
The Post reporters, Philip Messing, Jamie Schram and Bruce Golding said the the hacker had contacted the newspaper to brag about his exploits. The hacker also posted some of the stolen documents and a portion of Brennan’s contact list on Twitter.
Though he claimed he was a non muslim, his Twitter profile has Muslim Shahada creed, which translates as, “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
The hacker said he gained entry into Brennan’s email account by tricking workers at Verizon into providing Brennan’s personal information and duping AOL into resetting his password.
He said the stolen documents were stored as attachments to about 40 e-mails that he read after breaking into Brennan’s account on Oct. 12, more than six months after the controversy erupted over Clinton’s use of a private computer server to handle e-mails while acting as secretary of state.
The hacker said that Brennan had disabled his AOL email id as it was continuously being hijacked by him.
He claimed he has repeatedly prank-called America’s top spy since August, once reciting Brennan’s Social Security number to him. “He waited a tiny bit and hung up,” the hacker said.
And he also got into the online Comcast account of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and posted a redacted screenshot of a billing page. He claimed that he listened to Johnson’s voicemails.
In a statement, the CIA said: “We are aware of the reports that have surfaced on social media and have referred the matter to the appropriate authorities.”