Hacker Targets National Intelligence Director’s Online Accounts
The “teenage” hacker(s) who last year breached the personal AOL email account of CIA Director John Brennan is supposedly back in action targeting the online accounts of James Clapper, director of National Intelligence.
Evidence that online accounts associated with Clapper’s household have been compromised were shared with the Office of the Director, a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the matter told Fortune. The hackers appear to have gained access to the personal Yahoo (YHOO) email account of Clapper’s wife, Susan Clapper, as well as a Verizon (VZ) FiOS account linked to the family’s home phone number.
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One of the culprits—identified by Vice Motherboard as a hacker who goes by the pseudonym “Cracka,” and who operates as a member of the hacking group “Crackas With Attitude”—previously claimed to have helped breach CIA director Brennan’s personal email account as well as the Comcast (CMCSA) account of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson in October. As part of that incident, the hacker released private information allegedly associated with top U.S. officials, including Social Security numbers and contact lists.
In the latest breach, the hacker apparently changed the settings of the Clapper family’s online account to re-route calls made to the household. Instead, those calls connected to the offices of the Free Palestine Movement, a California-based non-profit organization, Vice Motherboard reported. The hacker has cited his disagreement with U.S. foreign policy and international relations on Palestinian issues as a motivation.
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“We are aware of the incident and have reported it to the appropriate authorities,” Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told Fortune. A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment, redirecting Fortune to Clapper’s office.
The reported breach may have been the result of a social engineering hack in which an attacker dupes employees at a company into revealing the personal information of customers. Fortune contacted Verizon and Yahoo for comment.
“We’re aware of the situation and our team is taking action now,” a Yahoo spokesperson told Fortune. ”
“Our security teams are investigating. Don’t have more to share than that right now,” a Verizon spokesperson said.