“A 15-year-old gained access to plans for intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran by pretending to be the head of the CIA to gain access to his computers, a court has heard.
From the bedroom of the Leicestershire home he shared with his mother, Kane Gamble used “social engineering” – where a person builds up a picture of information and uses it manipulate others into handing over more – to access the personal and work accounts of some of America’s most powerful spy chiefs.
The teenager persuaded call handlers at an internet giant that he was John Brennan, the then director of the CIA, to gain access to his computers and an FBI helpdesk that he was Mark Giuliano, then the agency’s Deputy Director, to re-gain access to an intelligence database.
He also targeted the US Secretary of Homeland Security and Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence from his semi-detached council house in Coalville.
Gamble taunted his victims online, released personal information, bombarded them with calls and messages, downloaded pornography onto their computers and took control of their iPads and TV screens, a court heard.
(…) Gamble, who has pleaded guilty to ten offences under the computer misuse act, first targeted Mr. Brennan and gained access to his Verizon internet account by pretending first to be an employee of the company and then Mr. Brennan himself, building up an increasingly detailed picture.
At first he was denied access to his computers as he could not name Mr. Brennan’s first pet, but on later calls, the handler changed the pin and security questions.
He used similar methods to access Mr. Brennan’s AOL account and eventually Gamble was able to access his emails, contacts, his iCloud storage account, and his wife’s iPad remotely.
Mr. Lloyd-Jones QC said: “He accessed some extremely sensitive accounts referring to, among other things, military operations and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran.” (Read more: The Telegraph, 1/19/2018) (Archive)