Two more arrests in hack of CIA's Brennan
- By Mark Rockwell
- Sep 09, 2016
The FBI arrested two men in connection with a series of cyber intrusions, including the hack of an email account belonging to CIA Director John Brennan (above).
Federal authorities have arrested two North Carolina men for their alleged roles in a hacking ring they said harassed senior-level U.S. intelligence officials and their families and exposed personal information of tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers.
On Sept. 8, the FBI arrested 22-year-old Andrew Otto Boggs, known online as INCURSIO, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, also known as D3F4ULT, on charges related to their alleged roles in the computer hacking of several senior U.S. government officials and government computer systems. According to the FBI and Justice Department, Boggs, of North Wilkesboro, N.C., and Liverman, of Morehead City, N.C., were allegedly in league with three teenagers in the U.K. in a group that called itself Crackas With Attitude.
The FBI affidavit does not name any of the victims. Just before one of the U.K. teenagers was arrested in February, however, the hackers bragged to major media outlets that they had broken into the private email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr.
According to the affidavit, the group allegedly gleaned information from federal officials and spouses via social media, phone, cable and email accounts. In some instances, they impersonated other victims. Using that data, they eventually got into law enforcement case management systems and pilfered the titles, telephone numbers and email information on 20,000 FBI personnel. They posted the information on data-dump sites CryptoBin and Indybay.
They also set up "phonebombing" campaigns against some of their victims' government-issued cell phones in which those devices would get calls every hour for a month. Harassing email messages sent via anonymized services threatening victims' reputations and veiled physical threats against victims' family members were also tactics, according to the affidavit.
Liverman's personal computer had the 20,000 FBI contact records, as well as contact information for 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees, according to the affidavit. The group used Twitter and other social media sites to brag about their exploits.
The affidavit states that federal systems the group allegedly accessed include the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal, which gives law enforcement agencies access to other online resources such as the Joint Automated Booking System and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
In January, the group also accessed the Case Information Management System run by the Justice Department's Civil Division, according to the affidavit.
The Justice Department said Boggs and Liverman will have initial appearances at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., next week.
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.