The top US spy had his phone account hacked, his office confirmed Tuesday.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence (DNI), appears to have become the latest government official who had a personal account accessed by a hacker. In October, CIA director John Brennan said he was “outraged” after a still-anonymous hacker or hackers broke into his AOL email account and posted files online.
“We are aware of the matter and have notified the appropriate authorities,” DNI spokesman Brian Hale said in a written statement.
A group of self-described teenagers claimed credit for the Brennan incident. Motherboard, a tech site run by Vice Media, published Tuesday an account of the Clapper hack based on a source claiming to be linked to the Brennan hack.
The hacker allegedly accessed Clapper’s Verizon account so that calls to the director would be forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement. The hacker also claimed to have accessed Clapper’s wife’s personal email account.
The incident is rudimentary by hacker standards. As the director of national intelligence, Clapper has authorized hacking operations that are much more sophisticated for foreign intelligence operations.
But stopping a computer intrusion is much harder than launching one. In this case, the hackers would have had to guess his password or trick him into revealing it.
“What it does is to underscore just how vulnerable people are to those who want to cause harm,” Brennan, the CIA director, said after his breach, according to a CNN report. “We really have to evolve to deal with these new threats and challenges.”