A U.K. teenager has been taken into custody on suspicion of a recent FBI and DHS data hack. The young boy of just 16 years is believed to have committed more high profile cyber-attacks.
Following the sensational revelation that data from seemingly secure digital cyberspace belonging to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was hacked and snippets were being posted online, British officials have arrested a U.K. teen. The 16-year-old suspect, living in the East Midlands, U.K., is believed to have ties to a series of hacks targeting the U.S. government and high level officials.
— Gavin Millard (@gmillard) November 6, 2015
The British officials haven’t released the name of the teenager, but confirmed they apprehended him with help from the FBI. Officials added they are now looking for possible accomplices. Though the teen remains unnamed, he goes by the hacker alias “Cracka” and leads the hacktivist group known as “Crackas With Attitude,” or CWA. The hacker also appears to have strong views about Palestine, reports Vice.
Officials with the Thames Valley Police confirmed the arrest in a statement, which read as follows.
“We have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access to computer material contrary to Section 1 Computer Misuse Act 1990, conspiracy to commit Unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorized acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”
Besides compromising sensitive information and releasing it online, the U.K. teen is believed to have been behind at least three other high profile cyber-attacks. Cracka may have hacked CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email back in October, as well as accounts belonging to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, in January, reports Slash Gear. Officials are certain that neither of the high ranking personalities used the compromised accounts for government use.
Interestingly, the CWA group may have been too cocky for its own good because it contacted news outlets The Daily Dot and Motherboard claiming to be behind the release of FBI and DHS personnel data. In fact, Motherboard webzine reported the hacker informed them that he had swiped the names, titles and contact information for 20,000 FBI employees and 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. Meanwhile, The Daily Dot reported the U.K.’s South East Regional Organized Crime Unit had confirmed the arrest and believed connections to the U.S. hackings, but couldn’t reveal any other information.
I'm a bit late to this, but there's a Tor hidden service with the 20,000 FBI employees too. Not sure how they're gonna deal with that one.
— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) February 12, 2016
It’s concerning to note that the adamant hacker group indicated they were quite upset about the arrest, but promised they won’t stop and assured there would be repercussions for the arrest.
“(It) doesn’t mean we’ll stop hacking them. Give us time, you’ll see. :)”
The group clearly remains unfazed because Cracka claimed this week that CWA managed to obtain the cellphone number of FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano without going through legal channels.
Interestingly, the hacker even shared the hack was made possible due to a compromised Department of Justice email. However, reports indicate the U.K. teen was questioned by the police for several hours. It might appear the authorities may not have substantial evidence to book the teen because he was eventually released on “unconditional bail.”
As far as the compromised data is concerned, reports indicate that the pilfered information amounted to an internal phone directory, reported Fox News based on a statement released by the DHS,
“There is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.”
Though the British officials have arrested the U.K. teen for FBI and DHS data hack, extradition might be an entirely different issue owing to the age factor.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]