A British teenager who gained access to intel-operations in Afghanistan and Iran by posing as the CIA chief has pleaded guilty in a London court on Friday.
The accused, Kane Gamble, now 18, who was then aged 15 and 16 at the time of the offences targeted figures such as the then CIA chief John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, as well as senior FBI figures such as Mark Giuliano between June 2015 and February 2016, when he was arrested.
Gamble carried out his hacking operations from his bedroom in Coalville, central England, by mimicking his targets to gain access to highly classified documents concerning US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq Afghanistan including personal information, contacts lists, security details, and passwords.
“Kane Gamble gained access to the communications accounts of some very high-ranking US intelligence officials and government employees. He also gained access to US law enforcement and intelligence agency network. He accessed some extremely sensitive accounts referring to, among other things, military operations and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran,” prosecutor Lloyd-Jones QC prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones told England’s Old Bailey central criminal court on Friday.
He then used the personal information to abuse his victims’ online, release personal information, and bombard them with calls and messages, and even download pornography onto their computers while taking control of their iPads and TV screens.
Gamble is the founder of the Crackas With Attitude (CWA) group, who had reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. The CWA group always expressed its support to Palestine and the hacks were carried out as part of a campaign of harassment against top US officials due to its support to the Israeli politics.
Gamble was arrested in February 2016, and in October 2017, he pleaded guilty to ten charges related to the attempted intrusions that took place between late 2015 and early 2016.
Other two members of the CWA group, Andrew Otto Boggs and Justin Gray Liverman were arrested by FBI in September 2016 and have already been sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Gamble, of Linford Crescent, Coalville pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to eight charges of “performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access” to computers and two charges of “unauthorised modification of computer material”.
“It all started by me getting more and more annoyed at how corrupt and cold-blooded the US Government is so I decided to do something about it.” Gamble told a journalist.
“The court heard Gamble “felt particularly strongly” about US-backed Israeli violence against Palestinians, the shooting of black people by US police, racist violence by the KKK and the bombing of civilians in Iraq and Syria.” reported The Sun.
Gamble’s defense, William Harbage QC, argued that he was “on the autistic spectrum” and had committed the offences when aged 15 and 16.
“Medical experts for the defence argue that he is on the autism spectrum and at the time of his offending had the mental development of a 12 or 13-year-old,” reported The Telegraph.
“He has no friends to speak off and is closest to his mother Ann, a cleaner who reportedly won a £1.6million lottery jackpot in 1997 but “lost all the money on doomed property deals.”
After his arrest, William Harbage QC told doctors “it was kind of easy” and that he had little consequences of his actions “in his bedroom on the internet thousands of miles away.”
The teenager, who is on conditional bail, will be sentenced by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave at the Old Bailey. The date of the sentence is yet to be fixed.