The FBI is investigating claims two of the highest-ranking national security officials in the US have had their personal emails hacked by a ‘dope smoking’ student hacker.
Federal agents are probing reports that the personal accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson were breached.
The hacker, who told CNN that he was ‘below the age of 22 years old, I smoke pot, and I live in America’ claimed that he had broken into Brennan’s personal email account and taken sensitive files, including a top-secret application for a security clearance.
He also claimed he prank-called Brennan, who is America’s top spy, and taunted him by reciting his Social Security number.
‘He waited a tiny bit and hung up,’ the hacker said.
As well as cracking Brennan’s personal AOL account, he claimed to have targeted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, accessing his internet provider account and listening to his voicemails.
An attachment was also released with the names, social security numbers and phone numbers of 20 people said to be affiliated with the CIA head.
The unidentified youth told the New York Post last night that Brennan had stored sensitive information on his private email account. This included private data on intelligence officials and a document about interrogations, he claimed.
He also told CNN he may have carried out the cyberattacks while high on marijuana – saying: It was that easy. I could have done it with one hand. I could’ve done it with no teeth’ – and that his methods were very low-tech.
When asked how difficult it was to break into Brennan’s email account, he replied: ‘Out of ten? One.’
He said he was a guy who likes computers but doesn’t like the government, claiming: ‘I’m not a terrorist. I’m a white boy.’
And he added: ‘I’m going to go to Russia and chill with (Edward) Snowden because I know the government is pretty mad about this… I’m probably going to get tortured. I’m actually a pretty fast runner.’
CBS News claims that a number of law enforcement sources have told them the breaches did take place and that attempts are being made to track the hackers down.
If true, the story will be a major embarrassment for Brennan and the Central Intelligence Agency, coming after months of intense national scrutiny of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.