Hackers took over Director of National Intelligence's phone and personal email

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Credit: Medill DC

Hackers flying under the banner of Crackas With Attitude took over Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's Verizon My FiOS account and forwarded all his calls to the Free Palestine Movement.

If you were Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and confused colleagues inquire as to why they keep reaching the wrong number when they try to call you, then it would have to be embarrassing to explain that hackers had taken over your Verizon My FiOS account and all your calls are being forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement.

Social engineering is apparently no less effective for a group of hackers flying under the banner of Crackas With Attitude (CWA) than it has been in the past when Cracka – one of the CWA hackers originally dubbed a teenage stoner – took control of CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email account.

This time, “Cracka” told Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai that CWA had taken control of “a series of accounts connected to Clapper, including his home telephone and internet, his personal email, and his wife’s Yahoo email. While in control of Clapper’s Verizon FiOS account, Cracka claimed to have changed the settings so that every call to his house number would get forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement.” CWA is aligned with the #FreePalestine movement.

Examples of tweets allegedly by hacker previously using Cracka alias

Cracka claimed the group was “pretty sure” Clapper didn’t know he’d been hacked, but a spokesman for Clapper, Brian Hale, said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was “aware of the matter and reported it to the appropriate authorities.”

After Cracka handed over Clapper’s home number to Motherboard and Franceschi-Bicchierai called it, Paul Larudee, the co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement, answered. Larudee confirmed that he had been getting calls by people trying to call Clapper.

Clapper had taken no steps to keep his phone number or home address hidden as both can reportedly be found via a simple Google search. That’s “insane” according to information security expert Michael Adams; he told Motherboard, “If I’m the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America nobody is going to know where the [bleep] I live, nobody is going to have my [bleep] phone number or address.”

CWA also provided Motherboard with a phone number allegedly belonging to Clapper’s wife, screenshots of their Verizon FiOS account, her Yahoo account, and a list of call logs to Clapper’s home number, including Vonna Heaton, a former senior executive at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. She seemed shocked to receive a call from a journalist and politely ended the call.

Cracka, using a different Twitter account this time, taunted various agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, but that’s not surprising since most of the agencies are already on the long list of CWA’s enemies.

New alias for Crackas on Twitter
Taunting US intelligence agencies

Besides previously targeting CIA Director John Brennan, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines, and FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliana, CWA claimed to have gained access to the national Joint Automated Booking System (JABS), a database of arrest records, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, and the FBI's Virtual Command Center. After CWA dumped personal details of 2,400 government employees, the Internet Crime Complaint Center warned police and public officials of an increased risk of being the target of cyber-attacks and doxing.

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