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There are new questions surfacing about the email habits of top government officials after reports that some teenage hackers may have broken into accounts of the heads of the CIA and Homeland Security.
The self-proclaimed suspect says he represents a few teenagers who are angry with the government’s treatment of Palestinians and posted what they say are sensitive documents from Director John Brennan’s personal AOL account.
Renewed concerns today were voiced at the White House by press secretary Josh Earnest, “It does highlight the risk that all of us face.”
On Capitol Hill, echoes of criticism came from Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. “No aspect of public policy is going to be immune from cyber affronts, whether that’s personal, that’s Facebook, that’s Linked-in or whether that’s the work they’re doing in their office behind the veil of security.”
The self-professed hackers say they accessed Brennan’s account & that of Jeh Johnson, even listening to his voicemails. Someone claiming to be the hacker bragged to CNN about what they were privy to, “Social Security numbers, plans talking about Iraq and Syria. There was a lot of, I guess, private information, really.”
Critics wondered aloud Tuesday, why after months of witnessing how Hillary Clinton’s email habits have come back to haunt her, would government officials keep such information on their personal accounts?
Rep. John Ratcliffe who chairs the subcommittee on cybersecurity said, “We’ve seen repeatedly now officials with sensitive information are gonna have to make a decision if they’re using the same email platforms as everyday Americans.”
The CIA, FBI and Homeland Security all declined comment other than to say they’re aware of the media reports.
According to Wired Magazine, which says it spoke to the hackers, the suspects claim to have prank-called Director Brennan multiple times and plan to hack other top government officials soon.