Census Email CIA Boss, Adolescent Hacker On Trial in UK

A teenage hacker was tried in Britain for hacking and accessing the communications accounts of high-ranking US intelligence and security officials. One of those hacked is the email account of a former boss of the US Central Intelligence Agency or CIA, John Brennan.

As reported by AFP Saturday (20/1/2018), 18-year-old Kane Gamble is again on trial this week at the Old Bailey Criminal Court, England. Gamble has acknowledged 10 criminal charges in violation of the Computer Abuse Act, which is caught up to him.

Hacking of US high officials was between June 2015 and February 2016, when he was still 15-16 years old. From his room in Coalville, England, Gamble managed to 'mimic' the targets he hacked to collect some very confidential and sensitive information.

"Kane Gamble gained access to the communication accounts of a number of high-ranking US intelligence officials and US government officials and also gained access to a network of US intelligence and law enforcement agencies," prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones told the hearing on Friday (19/1) yesterday.

It was revealed in the trial that Gamble founded a group named Crackas With Attitude (CWA) that exploited social engineering to manipulate call centers desk to disclose confidential information, which is then exploited.

Social engineering is a psychological manipulation of a person in taking action or revealing a secret information. Social engineering is usually done by telephone or internet. This method became one of the methods of hackers obtaining information.

In action several years ago, Gamble pretended to be Brennan when contacting Verizon and AOL telecom companies in the US. A number of sensitive documents reportedly obtained Gamble from inbox Brennan's personal email. Not only that, Gamble also managed to get information about intelligence and military operations in Iran and Afghanistan.

"Apparently he also managed to access Brennan's iCloud account," said prosecutor Lloyd-Jones. Gamble called AOL and asked for a password reset to take over the Brennan wife's iPad.

In addition to Brennan, Gamble also targets former US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. He dialed Johnson's number and left a voicemail saying 'Am I scaring you?'. Gamble also managed to display a message that reads 'I have you guys' on the Johnson family screen.

Other Gamble targets include Avril Haines who was then deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama, then senior adviser to technology and scientific John Holdren and special agents FBI Amy Hess. Gamble gained unauthorized access to the US Department of Justice computer network and was able to access court documents, including the Deepwater oil spill. He reportedly gave a number of secret documents that he got to WikiLeaks.

Gamble was arrested at his home in England, on February 9, 2017, at the request of the FBI. Gamble claims his action aims to support the Palestinians and because the US kills innocent civilians a lot. Gamble is currently awaiting the verdict. Not yet known when the verdict was held.

(nvc / nkn)

Former CIA Officer Arrested For Storing Confidential Information

A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged for illegally storing national defense information, the US Attorney said Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, or Zhen Cheng Li, 53, was arrested Monday (15/1), when arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. Lee, an American citizen, currently resident in Hong Kong, and began working as a CIA officer since 1994.

He was brought to trial in New York on Tuesday, but will be charged in northern Virginia where the headquarters of the CIA have an office. He was accused of illegally storing national defense information and facing the threat of a 10-year sentence if found guilty.

Prosecutors say in 2012, FBI agents who searched Lee's hotel room while he traveled to Virginia and Hawaii, found two notebooks containing secret information, including names and phone numbers from CIA agents, notes from meetings, locations operational meeting, location of a secret facility.

According to a report compiled by FBI agents, Lee has been interviewed by the FBI five times in 2013 and never disclosed the ownership of the notebook. He also met his former colleagues at the CIA without returning the materials to the government, the Attorney General's office said in a statement. [ps/jm]

CIA denies role in anti-government protests in Iran

 US CIA intelligence chief Mike Pompeo has denied the CIA had a role in fueling recent anti-government protests in Iran.

In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said Iran's economic condition is not good at the moment.

"That's what causes people to take to the streets," Pompeo said as reported by the AFP news agency Monday (8/1/2018). He also denounced the Iranian regime which he claimed to cover the ears of the popular vote.

When questioned about Iran's Attorney-General Mohammad Javad Montazeri's claim that a CIA official had coordinated with Israel and Saudi Arabia – rivals Iran – to cooperate with a group of exiled Iranians to trigger a protest in Iran, Pompeo replied simply: "That is not true."

"These people of Iran – started by them, created by them, continued by them, which demands better living conditions and is free of the theocratic regime.

Anti-government rallies in several cities in Iran have turned violent to the death of at least 21 people. Violence begins with protests against rising prices of staples, called the biggest demonstrations since pro-reform rallies in 2009.

Protesters have ignored warnings issued by Iran's Interior Ministry to prevent them from holding " people".

(ita / ita)

Saudi King Salman Meets the CIA Director in Riyadh

Saudi King Salman met with director of CIA Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The Saudi official news agency said they discussed bilateral relations and regional developments on Monday (18/12). [19659002] On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by the son of the king, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who served as Saudi ambassador to Washington, as well as Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, the head of General Intelligence Khalid al-Humaidan and royal court chief Khalid al- Issa.

Earlier this month, Pompeo said he would send a letter to General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds force, who warned him that the United States would regard Tehran as responsible for any attacks he carried on American interests in Iraq. [19659002] Iran and Saudi Arabia are also hostile in the region. [gp]

CIA Information Helps Russia Foil Terror Attack Petersburg

The Kremlin on Sunday (18/12), said the authorities foiled the ISIS plan to launch a series of bombings at St. Petersburg after receiving information from the Central American Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Moscow says Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned US President Donald Trump to thank the CIA's information. The White House confirmed the telephone conversation.

Russia said the intelligence information was significant for the Federal Security Service to track seven suspects last week who planned a suicide bombing on Saturday against the 200-year-old Kazan Cathedral , and other places in Russia's second largest city. Three more were arrested on Sunday. According to the authorities, they are related to the plan of the attack.

The authorities seized a large number of explosives for making homemade bombs, automatic rifles, ammunition and extremist literature.

Moscow said Putin asked Trump to express his gratitude to the CIA and that Russia will later share information gained about the possibility of terrorist attacks in America, as he said in the past.

The White House says Trump and Putin agreed to share intelligence information "is a positive example that can happen if we cooperate with each other."

The telephone conversation between the two leaders on Sunday was the second in four days and was done when the American-Russian relationship was at an opposite point. [ka]