Industry News

CIA director, high-ranking officials fall victim to social engineering

There’s quite a lot of information going around recently about how to stay safe online, what to do and what not do to and how to recognize phishing schemes or malware attacks in general. At first, users think the chances of falling victim to hackers are small. Now that even the CIA director has been hacked, though, it’s clear that nobody is immune.

Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, aka INCURSIO, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, aka D3F4ULT, both from North Carolina, have been charged with using social engineering to breach into the email accounts of top US government officials and hacking a Justice Department computer system. Names, phone numbers and private information of some 29,000 FBI and Homeland Security officials have been exposed online.

The two men are believed to be part of international hacker group “Crackas with Attitude” which impersonated a Verizon technician and FBI IT support to reset passwords and hack AOL accounts in 2015. At least three more teenagers from the UK are believed to be part of the group and are under investigation for criminal conspiracy driven by “opposition to U.S. foreign policy and support to Palestine,” as Cracka, one of the hackers from the UK, said to the New York Post.

Some high-level victims include CIA Director John Brennan, then-Deputy FBI Director Mark Giuliano,  Amy Hess, the FBI executive assistant director for science and technology, Gregory Mecher, married to White House communications director Jen Psaki, Harold Rosenbaum, chief executive of CIA contractor Centra Technology and James R. Clapper, National Intelligence Director, according to The Washington Post and other news agencies.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.