Teen Hacker Claims He Accessed CIA Director’s Personal Email

You’ve been hacked

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Is America's top spy sloppy with his email? A story in the New York Post claims that a self-described teenage stoner gained access to the personal AOL email account of CIA director John Brennan, and found classified information contained inside. From the New York Post story:

He said the stolen documents were stored as attachments to about 40 emails that he read after breaking into Brennan’s account on Oct. 12, more than six months after the controversy erupted over Clinton’s use of a private computer server to handle emails while serving as secretary of state.

The hacker said he used a tactic called “social engineering” that involved tricking workers at Verizon into providing Brennan’s personal information and duping AOL into resetting his password.

According to Fox News, the FBI is looking into the claim that Brennan's email was hacked. While not the most public of girues in the Obama administration, John Brennan is by far one of its most influential. He's widely regarded as the architect of the Administration's targeted killing program, first in his role as President Obama's Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and then, starting in 2013, as the director of the CIA. By the very nature of his position, he's handled a lot of issues that involve classified information. If that information found its way to his personal email, within easy reach of hackers, it's possible he could be found in violation of federal law. Such a revelation could subject him to a legal inquiry similar to the ongoing investigation into the private email server that Hillary Clinton set up during her time as Secretary of State.

Cyber security is a challenge for virtually all workers who interact with computers, but it's of paramount importance to those handling national secrets. The core principles are easy to grasp, and there's even educational games for children that teach the basics.