Crackas With Attitude (CWA), a group of hackers with a pro-Palestinian agenda, have hit another high-rank US intelligence chief.
The first time around, in October 2015, it was CIA Director John Brennan, and they managed to compromise his private AOL email account. Apparently, it was as simple social engineering Verizon workers into sharing Brennan’s personal information, then leveraging that information to get AOL to reset the password associated with the email account.
This time, the target was James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence.
The first intimation that the attack happened was when Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai was contacted by “Cracka,” a member of the CWA hacker group.
He claimed to have compromised Clapper’s Verizon FiOS broadband account (Internet, TV, phone), his personal email account, and his wife Susan’s Yahoo email account. He offered screenshots as evidence of the intrusion, but Motherboard wasn’t able to verify the claim.
He also made it so that any of the calls directed to Clapper’s house number are redirected to the phone number of the Free Palestine Movement (this has been confirmed as true by Franceschi-Bicchierai).
Finally, he also apparently managed to discover Susan Clapper’s cellphone number – Clapper’s home phone number can be found by simply searching for it on Google.
According to a DNI spokesman, the attack is currently being investigated by the “appropriate authorities.”
Verizon is also looking into the matter.
So far, it seems that like in Brennan’s case, the compromises of the various accounts belonging to Clapper and family were executed by leveraging social engineering.
After the attack on Brennan, the hackers leaked some sensitive information found in his private email account. Some of these documents were ultimately published by WikiLeaks.
There is still no indication that Clapper’s email account contained potentially sensitive info.