A hacking group that called itself “Crackas With Attitude” bragged earlier this year about hacking the CIA, FBI and Justice Department, gaining access to thousands of names, phone numbers and email addresses.
Now two alleged members of the group are behind bars, accused of executing the data breaches, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, both from North Carolina, were charged with conspiring to commit offenses against the U.S. in late 2015 and early 2016.
Among the victims were CIA Director John Brenna and then-Deputy FBI Director Mark Giuliano.
Investigators also are looking into three teenagers in the U.K. who may have been involved.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Authorities said the suspects often gained access to the accounts by calling the help lines at Internet-service companies and impersonating employees at those companies or the victims they were targeting. They were then able to reset the account passwords to their targets’ private email accounts, giving them access to those accounts. Computer-security experts refer to such techniques as social engineering, rather than hacking, because they typically depend on one person tricking another into providing key information that allows the suspect to access private accounts.
The “Crackas With Attitude’’ then used their access to taunt the officials, particularly Messrs. Brennan and Giuliano, with harassing phone calls and public ridicule posted online.