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Security United States

Teen Hacks US Intelligence Chief's Personal Accounts (vice.com) 132

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has now joined the CIA's John Brennan in having his personal online accounts hacked. A teenage hacker known as 'Cracka' has claimed responsibility for the hack, reporting that he had infiltrated Clapper's home telephone, online accounts and his personal email, as well as his wife's Yahoo account. Cracka had managed to change the settings on Clapper's Verizon Fios account so that any calls to his home number were redirected to the Free Palestine Movement group in California.
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Teen Hacks US Intelligence Chief's Personal Accounts

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @10:08AM (#51292753) Homepage

    On one hand, kudos for being ballsy and doing this.

    On the other hand, if you go messing around with the Director of National Intelligence ... well, you should expect some pretty heavy consequences.

    And I'm sure they'll find all sorts of trumped up charges to make your life miserable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shoten ( 260439 )

      On one hand, kudos for being ballsy and doing this.

      On the other hand, if you go messing around with the Director of National Intelligence ... well, you should expect some pretty heavy consequences.

      And I'm sure they'll find all sorts of trumped up charges to make your life miserable.

      Yeah, no kidding...

      "I R SO L33T! I GOT TEH CIA MAD AT ME!"

      Yeah, he's a real fucking genius.

    • And I'm sure they'll find all sorts of trumped up charges to make your life miserable.

      Where the trumped charge could be "victim of a hit and run" and "miserable" could mean "short".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ts ts, slashdotters and their totalitarian fantasies...

    • Is it a trumped up charge to compromise the security of a third party's computer systems, let alone update billing records, let alone causing increased realized financial expense to said party? Even if they strictly followed the letter of the law, wire fraud and illegitimate use of a computer system, if not felony hacking.
      • That's the low hanging fruit that's easy to apply. Those would probably happen if you did it to almost anybody.

        Now, how many laws (secret or otherwise) start to apply when you start touching things for which they can invoke "national security"?

        Suddenly a LOT of resources get thrown at finding you, and people start talking about some next-level shit in terms of consequences.

        I feel bad for this kid, because his life as he understands it is about to become pretty messed up.

        Just how many federal agencies have

      • Does someone who oversaw illegal action affecting everyone in your country and lied about it under oath in his capacity if Director of National intelligence still receive the protection of the law he so casually tossed aside?

    • They will probably offer him/her a job.

    • True because the director of national intelligence is of a higher breed than everyone else who has their personal details compromised every day. That's why you should expect heavy consequences for targeting that particular individual amongst all us plebs.

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        However hasn't Clapper said if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind your data being "public"? I'd say this might be a nice reminder that "public" may not be what you want all your data be, no matter how innocent you are.
  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @10:18AM (#51292809)

    ...once they let him out of whatever Third World hellhole US intelligence is currently using to warehouse inconvenient people.

    • ...once they let him out of whatever Third World hellhole US intelligence is currently using to warehouse inconvenient people.

      Nah they'll just hire him.

      • That's what he said.

      • You raise and excellent point. ;-)

      • by fred911 ( 83970 )

        "Nah they'll just hire him."

        No, they won't. He'll go away. If he's lucky it will be to some unnamed cage where he'll be offered no constitutional protection or due process. If not, he'll have a fatal "accident" and we'll never hear anything more about it.

        • This isn't the first time something like this has happened. How many people breaking into the accounts of high government officials have been disappeared?

  • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @10:19AM (#51292813)
    Our heads of national intelligence and security are easily compromised by remote hackers/social engineers. Sounds like a fairly big problem. Then again, our nation didn't complain too much when it was discovered that the Secretary of the Treasury either cheated on, or couldn't figure out, his taxes, so I guess this shouldn't be much of a shocker.
    • How far up the management chain do you have to go in your organization before no one knows any of the technical details of what you do?
      • My experience? Two levels of org chart at most, often only one.

        The transition from "understanding technical details" to "kinda sorta understands the concept" is fairly abrupt.

        I once had a manager who had coded in JCL for about 6-8 months before he moved into management ... and that had been 15 years prior. He was mostly a sales guy who could give a demo, but didn't really understand things any more.

        At the C-level? They mostly know how to take the union of all possible buzzwords available to them and use

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      Well in fairness to Turbo Timmy -

      Outside of those individuals who are able to file 1040EZ or have a relatively simple 1040A situation; nobody knows how to file their taxes. The best even the professionals can do is make a good faith effort to follow the rules working with best available definitions that are often vague and subject to contest or dispute.

      You then hope in the following order:
      0) You don't get audited
      1) Your answers to the auditors questions will convince them you were not trying to pull anythi

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @10:25AM (#51292849)

    This has all the earmarks of a Clapper-hacker Cracka Caper.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @10:26AM (#51292859) Homepage
    outcome 1: Administration has as good laugh, invites teen to the whitehouse and a tour of the CIA. STEM and CS agendas are lauded and the teens intuition and cleverness are chamioned as a sterling mark of american ingenuity and creativity. peace in the middle east is championed as a fundamental necessity of the 21st century
    outcome 2: the teen spends half a decade in juvenile incarceration and another few years in a correcitonal facility after age 18. his parents find gainful employment hard to come by. as a convicted felon the teen loses access to PEL grants and scholarships required to attend college. everything from fast food to janitorial work refuses to hire a felon, and public assistance programs from section 8 housing to food benefits categorically deny him.
  • I know there's the proximity issue of his job title to the issue, but really do people expect everyone to "live" their job? Sometimes a mechanic's car is shitty. Sometimes a doctor has poor health habits. Sometimes directors of national intelligence has a family and none of them work too hard for home IT security.

    • Having worked in the government there is a lot of work put into informing people about the dangers and risks of poor information security on a constant basis. The higher up the food chain you get the more critical it is that you understand those dangers and mitigate them as much as possible. When you get to the point that you are a national leader of a federal agency like he is all that personal stuff should be locked down incredibly tight. At that level you can safely assume that other nation states will b

  • Clap on! Clap Off! Clap on! Some-guy-who-got-his-email-hacked-like-a-noob!

  • by Gryle ( 933382 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @11:02AM (#51293103)
    Aside from his target being James Clapper, I'm not really sure what the fuss is. From my reading of the article, Cracka managed to re-route residential phone numbers and got into some Yahoo accounts. Granted, this isn't the greatest PR for the DNI and this kid is certainly more technically skilled than I am, but it's not like he compromised a classified system somewhere. Perhaps someone else with more technical expertise can explain to me what I'm missing?
    • Well you would think that his technical staff would have, perhaps, maybe, gone over to his house once and made sure things were a wee bit hardened. It doesn't take a whole lot to compromise anybody and as countless spear phishing episodes have shown, once you crack the wall it's relatively easy to break it down entirely.

      Of course, this all depends on TFA having some resemblance to the truth. The entire thing could have been made up, be a false flag, be a honeypot. Who knows?

      • Well you would think that his technical staff would have, perhaps, maybe, gone over to his house once and made sure things were a wee bit hardened. It doesn't take a whole lot to compromise anybody and as countless spear phishing episodes have shown, once you crack the wall it's relatively easy to break it down entirely.

        All this guy has done is get into some personal accounts. Embarrassing, sure, but not all that spectacular other than the target. I'm pretty sure the DNI has a secure setup for official use in his house. As long as he doesn't use personal emails for official business there is no risk of compromising classified material. Meanwhile, the teen has attracted date attention of agencies that have the ability to find him if they decide to; and buildings to house him before, during, and after a trial if he is convic

        • The danger isn't that some hacker would/could find some kind of nuclear launch codes or some equivalent. The danger is that if some basement dwelling teenage hacker can accomplish this, what does it say about our high level leaders vulnerability to more nefarious people and states. And you don't have to find the keys to the kingdom, or even anything that would ordinarily be classified. In Vietnam VC spies would simply observe when large formations of air craft took off, and what direction they where heading

    • Interestingly, the John Brennan hacking had nothing to do with Brennan or any sort of security breach.

      Essentially, the hackers did a social hack on AOL (John Brennan's ISP) .

      Brennan had nothing to do with it, had used good security practices, and only his personal stuff was made public.

      I'm not sure what the fuss is about either. Yeah, personal E-mails and some slightly private information might be made public, and there's some political hay to be made from doxing the high-priority target, but it's really no

  • Silly hackers... don't they know that the DNI is considered a dead end job in Washington DC, particularly in the intelligence community? Their position is basically just a title with no real budget, assets or control over the actual intelligence agencies in the United States (a la CIA, NSA, DIA, etc.) who think that the DNI role is really theirs in practice. Heck, if anything, the DNI is probably happy to get some actual press.
  • Said hacker did not hack the accounts. Not wittingly.

  • I realise these are just kids, so without an ounce of wisdom, but how can they be smart enough to do this yet so stupid that they do not see that hurting other people just because they are related to a person you are politically opposed too is the sort of evil shit we condemn North Korea for? If you claim to act out of principle you need to keep in mind that ethical humans don't go after people at home, unless they are single, because family are off limits. If you knowingly break that rule then you are no

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