Latest in Cia

Image credit:

High school student claims to have hacked CIA chief's personal email

Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
October 19, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

The New York Post reports that an unnamed source claiming to be an American high school student has contacted the paper with evidence that he had compromised the personal email account of CIA Director John Brennan. Among the documents reportedly stored in Brennan's unsecured personal email: his 47-page application for top-secret security clearance, personal information (including SSNs) on more than a dozen top US intelligence officials and some damning emails discussing "harsh interrogation techniques" used on suspects.

"I can't believe he did this to the head of the CIA," the source told the Post. "[The] problem with these older-generation guys is that they don't know anything about cybersecurity, and as you can see, it can be problematic." The source described himself as a non-Muslim American high schooler motivated by his opposition to US foreign policy during a series of communications with the paper. He also confirmed that he controlled the Twitter handle, @phphax.

He claims that the 40 or so documents he accessed on October 12th were stored as file attachments. He reportedly gained access via a social engineering scam in which he convinced (soon-to-be-former) Verizon employees to provide him with Brennan's personal details and leveraging that information to get AOL to reset the account password. The account has since been disabled and the FBI is currently investigating the matter.

Of course, this isn't the first time the CIA has targeted or been targeted by hackers. However, with it coming just six months after former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got caught storing classified emails on her personal servers. "I think they'll want to make an example out of him to deter people from doing this in the future," said the source, blissfully unaware that his future holds the same fate for exactly the same reason.

[Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

View
Google built an 'Infinite Bad Guy' generator using 15,000 YouTube covers

Google built an 'Infinite Bad Guy' generator using 15,000 YouTube covers

View
Lenovo's Google-powered Smart Clocks hit all-time low prices for Black Friday

Lenovo's Google-powered Smart Clocks hit all-time low prices for Black Friday

View
The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr