Industry News

Hacker pleads guilty to conspiracy to hack CIA Director John Brennan

Justin Liverman, a 24-year-old student and North Carolina resident, has pleaded guilty to “a conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer intrusions, identity theft, and telephone harassment” directed at US government officials, including CIA Director John Brennan.

Prosecutors allege Liverman, also known online as “D3F4ULT,”is part of the hacking group “Crackas with Attitude,” whose leader is believed to be in the UK. Starting November 2015, the hacker began an intimidation and harassment campaign against victims and their families.

“Liverman publicly posted online documents and personal information unlawfully obtained from a victim’s personal account; sent threatening text messages to the same victim’s cellphone; and paid an unlawful ‘phonebombing’ service to call the victim repeatedly with a threatening message,” officials said.

After he gained unauthorized access to a confidential database, Liverman leaked online the private information of dozens of law enforcement officers around Miami, including their names, phone numbers and emails.

A recently published statement of facts argues Liverman’s involvement in the hack was minimal, yet he is associated with targeting the Verizon account of Greg Mecher, husband of White House Communication Director Jen Psaki. Mecher was hacked following his wife’s critical statements about Edward Snowden who is admired in the hacking community, according to Politico.

After the attack, Liverman wrote Psaki a message on Twitter reading “dis is @Snowden, I heard u talkin s*** @jrpsaki so i tok ur acc b***.”

He faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge. His partner Andrew Boggs, also a North Carolina resident, is awaiting a plea bargain. Public charges have not been brought against any UK citizens in the hacker group.

About the author


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.