Crackas With Attitude hacker 'Incursio' gets two years in the clink for embarrassing CIA boss

Boggs sees future prospects go down the pan

Another member of the Crackas With Attitude hacking group has been sent down – after breaking into the email accounts of more than 10 US government officials, including the then-director of the CIA.

Andrew Otto Boggs, aka "Incursio," 23, was part of a five-person group – three in the UK and two in the US – calling itself Crackas With Attitude. They targeted government officials at the end of 2015 by sweet talking their way past Verizon and Comcast staff on the phone so they could access their victims' ISP accounts. This allowed the miscreants to rifle through their email and telecom history so they could "fuck the gov," court records state.

The first target in October 2015 was a big one – then-CIA Director John Brennan. Boggs and his associates, led by unnamed UK hacker "Cracka," successfully convinced Verizon staff to change the password for Brennan's AOL account.

The team used the information to make harassing calls to Brennan and his wife, as well as getting control of the Twitter, Verizon and Norton accounts used by the CIA boss' family. The hackers then leaked the information to the press and, while no sensitive data was published, the CIA's head did have the double embarrassment of both being hacked and having himself outed as an AOL and Norton user.

Information from the accounts was sent to WikiLeaks, which published it in three tranches on October 21, 22 and 26. Boggs was an enthusiastic member of the team, according to records found on his hard drive and social media accounts. He supported the team and actively applied to join up in future hacks.

"I want to carry on [Cracka's] legacy if or when he is arrested," Boggs said, "I know he'll receive a harsh sentence because our government doesn't like being embarrassed, so there's no better way of protesting than hacking and leaking more documents over and over again."

More victims

Other high-profile hacking victims are thought to include the US National Intelligence Director James "does not collect" Clapper, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano, and President Obama's Senior Advisor on science and technology, John Holdren. Over a five-month period, the prosecutors claim that 10 government officials and their families were hacked. The cost of cleaning up after the incidents was put more than $1.5m, not to mention the embarrassment caused.

In November the hacking team also got access to the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP), an intranet for America's cops, again by social engineering to get the login credentials. They then posted 296 pages of personal information on police officers and federal agents on Pastebin and Cryptobin, tweeting that it was a good thing that they weren't Russian or Chinese hackers.

By January the group discussed swatting a police department. Swatting involves making fake phone calls claiming violence that would lead to the deployment of armed officers. As it turned out, they didn't go that far and instead Cracka phoned in a bomb threat to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, causing an evacuation.

"Imagine all the ppl running around thinking there is a bomb in the building," Boggs' co-conspirator Justin Liverman told the group in a Jabber chat.

Sadly for the group, their operational security was as poor as their spelling and punctuation. Boggs was caught because the IP address used to register his Twitter account was his family's home internet connection in North Carolina. British police started catching up with hackers on their side of the Atlantic and the game was soon up.

On the hard drives seized in the raids, police found plenty of evidence of malfeasance, including videos of hacking taking place recorded on Bandicam by Liverman and others. They also found the employee information for 20,000 FBI officers and 9,000 DHS staff on Liverman's computer after he and Boggs were arrested last September.

Boggs, of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the US, pled guilty on January 10 to hacking charges. On Friday, he was sentenced to two years behind bars. Liverman, 24, of Morehead City, North Carolina, has also admitted guilt and will be sentenced later this month, while the British hackers are still being processed by the UK justice system. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022