An American teenager and a group espousing pro-Palestinian views claims they were able to hack into the personal email accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The FBI and Secret Service are both investigating the situation. One official told CNN that no classified information appears to have been leaked.
According to the New York Post, the teenager said he was able to gain access to documents featuring information such as Social Security numbers for more than 12 US intelligence officials from Brennan’s account. The hacker also said Brennan’s email, a personal AOL account, contained the CIA director’s own application for top security clearance, which totaled nearly 50 pages.
It’s unclear what, if any, sensitive information the hacker was able to gain access to through Johnson’s account, one which was set up through Comcast. However, he said he did listen to Johnson’s voicemails and viewed one of his bills.
Edited portions of some of Brennan’s alleged documents were also posted on Twitter by the hacker under the username “cracka.”
The alleged hacker also directed users to another Twitter account called “CWA,” which apparently stands for “Crackas With Attitude” and run by a tandem composed by the teen and another student.
The teen stated that it is not just he who is responsible for the breach, but the CWA as a whole. The CWA account has now been suspended, but the teen’s is still up and running.
The teenager would not disclose many details about himself. He has only stated that he is a non-Muslim American high school student with pro-Palestinian views. He said he was “motivated by opposition to US foreign policy and support for Palestine,” the NY Post reported.
Meanwhile, the CWA account also posted several pro-Palestinian tweets before it was suspended.
“We are not doing this for personal satisfaction, we are doing this because innocent people in Palestine are being killed daily,” read one tweet. Another that if Palestine wasn’t freed the group would “jack your accounts,” adding a reference to President Obama.
In an interview with CNN, the hacker also said he wanted to shame the government.
“John and Jeh are both very big people and high-ranking people, so, I mean, if we hacked them, they would be ashamed,” he said. “But it was really because the government are killing innocent people, they also fund (Israel) for killing innocent people.”
An unnamed source expressed shock at the situation to the Post.
“I can’t believe he did this to the head of the CIA,’’ the source said. “[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 allegations come as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to face scrutiny over her use of a personal email account and server during her time as secretary of state. According to the teen hacker, he was able to find sensitive information in Brennan’s account approximately six months after the Clinton scandal blew up.