The teenage son of a National Lottery winner who hacked into the email of the CIA director and stalked his family has been locked up for two years.
Kane Gamble, 18, rocked the US intelligence community when he blagged his way into senior officials’ accounts in a campaign of “cyber terrorism”.
He was just 15 when he targeted then-spy chief John Brennan as part of a campaign of harassment against top US officials.
The “cyber-terrorist” took control of an iPad belonging to the American’s wife and made hoax phone calls to his family home.
Gamble, a member of the ‘Crackas With Attitude’ collective, then taunted the CIA on social media about his success.
He later targeted other US officials including James Tapper, who was Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.
Another victim, Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, had his home TV hacked by Gamble and the message “I own you” posted on the screen.
The offences were committed from the bedroom of his unassuming family home in Coalville, Leics, in 2015 and 2016.
Gamble, now 18, lived in the council property with his mum Ann, who scooped £1.6m on the National Lottery in 1997.
The 55-year-old, who used to live in leafy Melton Mowbray, Leics, blew the fortune on failed property deals.
Her son posed as a telecoms worker and CIA boss Brennan himself to gain passwords and personal information.
Other senior victims included Mark Giuliano, who was deputy director of the FBI, and a female FBI special agent.
Gamble obtained contact lists and sensitive documents about ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The teen accessed an FBI database to get the names of 1,000 staff -something he called the “best breach ever”.
He also bragged “this is so serious I’m f****** shaking” after the unprecedented hack.
The information he obtained was used to carry out a “swatting” attack on an adviser to then-President Obama.
The court heard US authorities were so worried they sent armed officers to the official’s family home.
Gamble was eventually tracked down by the FBI after he hacked into the Department of Justice network.
He admitted eight charges of “performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access”.
The teen also pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorised modification of computer material.
Gamble, whose mum sat weeping in court, was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey yesterday (Fri).
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said he “revelled” in an “extremely nasty campaign of politically-motivated cyber terrorism”. (Mirror)
A newly declassified document from the CIA claims that Adolf Hitler apparently survived World War II and lived in Colombia for several months in 1954.
The intelligence memo, part of the just-released files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides details from an informant, who told CIA agent codenamed Cimelody-3 that Hitler was alive. The informant, who also happened to be the agent’s friend, added that Phillip Citroen, a former German SS agent, appeared to be in touch with the former Führer in the city of Tunja in Colombia’s Boyacá department.
According to the memo, Citroen said that the Germans residing in Tunja followed Hitler “with an idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as ‘der Führer’ and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation.” The memo also shows a picture of “Adolf Schrittelmayor,” signaling that Hitler could have changed his last name.
The picture above shows Citroen sitting next to the alleged Hitler, who committed suicide in a Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, according to the Allies and virtually every historian. But the CIA document ignites a discussion on whether Hitler managed to escape to South America after the war.
“Citroen also stated Hitler left Colombia for Argentina around January, 1955,” the memo says.
The CIA memos make it clear that the agency was skeptical of the reports, but had to take them seriously. “Neither Chimelody-3 nor this station is in a position to give an intelligent evaluation of the information and it is being forwarded as of possible interest,” reads another page of the memo, dated October 3, 1955.
Argentine writer Abel Basti, author of “Tras Los Pasos de Hitler (After Hitler’s steps),” reconstructed Hitler’s alleged trip across South America, including a months-long stay in Colombia. But the book has been rejected by historians because it lacked evidence, according to Colombia Reports.
Hitler’s fate has been subject to widespread speculation. According to a report by CNN in 2009, Soviet KGB agents burned Hitler’s remains in 1970 and threw them into a river in Germany based on orders by then-chief Yuri Andropov. According to the report, the bodies of Hitler, his companion Eva Braun and the Goebbels family were discovered by the Soviet Army in May 1945.
But such account sparked more doubts. Nick Bellantoni of the University of Connecticut in 2009 analyzed a piece of a skull that Russia claimed it belonged to Hitler, but the scientist confirmed that it rather came from a 20 to-40-year-old woman.
Historians widely believe that Hitler committed suicide by gunshot and cyanide poisoning as the Soviet Army rushed into Berlin in the waning days of the war.
…I work for the CIA says Orji Uzor Kanu
…I can connect you to Jonathan if you drop Biafra
The recent noise over the whereabouts of the leader of the Biafra restoration movement in Nigeria and worldwide, Prince Nnamdi Kanu by the supposed revelation from a former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu who stated recently that Prince Nnamdi Kanu had escaped to London through Malaysia. The former governor also stated that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB] had engaged in illicit acts that included robbery and rape of women in Abia State.
However, information recently made available to the US indicates that the former governor may have been angry and/or bitter with the Kanu family following a rebuff by the family when he attempted to reach out to the family to help in persuading Nnamdi Kanu into dropping the Biafra restoration project.
Specifically, Orji Uzor Kanu had visited the home of Nnamdi Kanu on December 27, 2016, to meet with Prince Nnamdi Kanu on the premise that he had a message from the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Major General Mohammadu Buhari.
Orji Uzor Kalu was greeted at the balcony of the house by the father and mother to Prince Nnamdi Kanu in the company of Emmanuel Kanu, the brother. He was not allowed entrance into the main house where Nnamdi Kanu was seated with other guests.
Orji Uzor Kalu proceeded to tell the parents of Nnamdi Kanu that he had the powers to revamp the family and put them on money should they help him in persuading their son to drop the Biafra restoration project. He pointed to his powers as an operative of the CIA [Central Intelligence of America] – and that he had enormous pull in African affairs. He told them that America and the United Kingdom briefed him that there would not be any Biafra.
He pledged to the family that if given audience with Nnamdi Kanu he will arrange for Nnamdi Kanu to meet with the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja – and that Jonathan can help open up doors of economic opportunities for the entire family.
Orji Uzor Kalu was softly rebuffed and told by the brother to Prince Nnamdi Kanu that the family was not for sale nor were they in the position to compromise the struggle in exchange for money or economic opportunities. The brother told Orji Uzor Kalu that IPOB is bigger than Nnamdi Kanu or anyone in IPOB. So no one can single-handedly collect bribe to compromise the restoration project.
Orji Uzor Kalu departed Kanu’s residence without achieving his objective.
Four months later in April 2017, Orji Uzor Kalu placed a call to the phone belonging to Nnamdi Kanu’s brother, Emmanuel. Orji Uzor Kalu lamented bitterly that the Kanu family was not giving him the leverage he requires to negotiate with the Presidency. He told Emmanuel that he visited Nnamdi Kanu while he was at Kuje prison – and had worked towards achieving his release from prison. But after his release, Orji Uzor Kalu lamented that Nnamdi Kanu abandoned him and decided to give glory to others and not him. He lamented bitterly that Nnamdi Kanu decided not to visit him in the same manner he visited other supposed Igbo leaders.
He was assured by Emmanuel Kanu that Nnamdi Kanu will make out time to visit him in Abuja once the schedule allows. But Nnamdi Kanu could not get around to visiting Orji Uzor Kanu before Orji Uzor Kalu lost patience with the Kanu family.
Orji Uzor Kalu then changed his tactics and immediately went public to vilifying the Kanu family and the Biafra restoration project.
Sources close to the former governor told us he had assured the presidency he had the magic to get the Nnamdi Kanu family to halt the Biafra restoration project. It was alleged that Orji Uzor Kanu was mobilized to the tune of N35billion to embark on the project.
“We are sure he is only trying to impress hiHausasa-Fulani masters”. His recent pronouncement that Nnamdi Kanu had escaped to London comes out of bitterness, failure and desperation, says Emmanuel Kanu.
Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified to whom Edward Snowden released classified government information in 2013. Snowden gave the documents to multiple media outlets.
The crusading website WikiLeaks published thousands of documents Tuesday it says detail CIA tools for hacking into web servers, computers, smartphones and even TVs that can be turned into covert microphones.
The website claims the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal,” more than several hundred million lines of code that provide “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
Jake Williams, a security expert with the Georgia-based security firm Rendition Infosec, said the information will be used within days or weeks by hackers and the security firms that combat them.
“My first thought was ‘Wow!’ quickly followed by the realization that this is a treasure trove of information,” he said. “We are regularly dealing with corporations being attacked by nation-state hacking groups. This gives us a lot of insight into how they do it.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer, questioned at a press briefing, declined to comment on the release.
“These (leaks) appear to be very, very serious,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told reporters at a briefing. “We are extremely concerned, and we are following it closely.” The documents indicate developers created programs in homage to popular culture, such as an implant for computers running Microsoft Windows dubbed “RickyBobby” after the Will Ferrell character in the 2006 film Talladega Nights. A trojan spread via thumb drives was named Fight Club, a reference to the 1996 novel and 1999 movie with Brad Pitt. A smart TV project was called Weeping Angel — recurring villains in the Doctor Who series who only move when no one is watching.
The CIA issued a statement declining comment on the “purported” documents. USA TODAY has not yet been able to confirm the authenticity of the documents nor seen anything in them thus far to indicate the tools were used in the U.S. – or at all.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., called for a congressional investigation in to the details contained in the files. “The potential privacy concerns are mind-boggling,” said Lieu, who has a degree in computer science. “We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”
WikiLeaks says the archive appears to have been circulated among former government hackers and contractors, one of whom provided WikiLeaks with portions of it. The website says the CIA hacking division involved “more than 5,000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other ‘weaponized’ malware.”
“Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook,” WikiLeaks claims. “The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.”
The source of the information, which WikiLeaks did not name, hopes the document dump will initiate “a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons,” the website says.
According to WikiLeaks, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and Samsung smart TVs were among CIA targets. The TVs can be placed in a “fake off” mode, so the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on, the documents say. “In ‘fake off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server,” WikiLeaks says.
The notes indicate one of the developers’ major challenges was maintaining an internet connection for long periods of time after the TVs were shut off by owners. There are notes indicating the teams hoped to extend that recording-and-sending time period to last as long as 24 to 72 hours.
At the other end of the technological spectrum, a project appropriately named Pterodactyl set as its goal giving agents a tool to “rapidly copy 3.5 inch floppy disks in a covert manner.” The project appeared to be aimed at a small, easily-concealable device that someone could carry into a space, copy many disks at once and leave with the captured data without the target knowing the disks had been copied.
Microsoft, Google and WhatsApp were among tech firms saying they were looking into the WikiLeaks report. Scott Vernick, a partner with the data security law firm of Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia, said the documents raise the question of whether the CIA shared its tools with the FBI for use in domestic investigations.
Nathan White, senior legislative manager at the nonprofit advocacy group Access Now, said the documents show the need for limits on government hacking and protection of human rights.
“Our digital security has been compromised because the CIA has been stockpiling vulnerabilities rather than working with companies to patch them,” White said.
Wikileaks released thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of last year’s presidential election, in a cyber attack the U.S. intelligence community concluded was carried out by Russia in an attempt to interfere in the race. Wikileaks has denied getting the emails from Russia, which also refuted any involvement in the hacking.
Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia after his own release of classified government documents to multiple media outlets in 2013, tweeted the documents show the government developed vulnerabilities in U.S. products and left them there. “Reckless beyond words,” Snowden added.
Timothy Carone, a Notre Dame professor who specializes in data science, says the release reinforces the idea that all information in our lives can be acquired and leveraged in ways most people don’t even think about.
“Probably the most disturbing part of the story was that this information was being shared between former U.S. government hackers and contractors with no oversights and no authorization,” he said.
WikiLeaks has conducted a global crusade to expose government secrets through a series of controversial and sometimes embarrassing document dumps in recent years. Chelsea Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents through the WikiLeaks website, is scheduled for release in May after more than six years in prison.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual assault, and the United States, where he fears possible espionage charges.
Contributing: Nick Penzenstadler, Elizabeth Weise, Brad Heath and John Kelly
WikiLeaks published thousands of documents Tuesday it described as the CIA’s hacking arsenal in what the website called the “largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.”
Wikileaks said the document dump from the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence represents a new series of leaks it had code-named “Vault 7.” The website says the CIA “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal,” more than several hundred million lines of code, providing “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
Wikileaks says the archive appears to have been circulated among former government hackers and contractors, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.The covert hacking program taps into Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which can be turned into covert microphones, the website says.
“By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware,” Wikileaks said in a statement on its website. “Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook.
“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.”
The CIA did not immediately return a call for comment from USA TODAY.
Wikileaks has conducted a global crusade to expose government secrets through a series of controversial document dumps in recent years. One led to the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, who has spent six years behind bars or leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents through the WikiLeaks website.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual assault, and the United States, where he fears possible espionage charges. (USA Today)
Former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr., a veteran of four presidential administrations and one of the nation’s leading intelligence experts, resigned Thursday from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team because of growing tensions over Trump’s vision for intelligence agencies.
Woolsey’s resignation as a Trump senior adviser comes amid frustrations over the incoming administration’s national security plans and Trump’s public comments undermining the intelligence community.
“Effective immediately, Ambassador Woolsey is no longer a Senior Advisor to President-Elect Trump or the Transition. He wishes the President-Elect and his Administration great success in their time in office,” Jonathan Franks, a spokesman for Woolsey, said in a statement.
People close to Woolsey said that he had been excluded in recent weeks from discussions on intelligence matters with Trump and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming White House national security adviser. They said that Woolsey had grown increasingly uncomfortable lending his name and credibility to the transition team without being consulted. Woolsey was taken aback by this week’s reports that Trump is considering revamping the country’s intelligence framework, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.
“Jim is very uncomfortable being considered an adviser in an area where one might consider him an expert when he is not involved in the discussions,” one person close to Woolsey said. “To be called ‘senior adviser’ and your opinion is not sought is something he cannot handle.”
Trump transition officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Woolsey’s resignation.
Woolsey has been a key player in the national security firmament since the late 1970s, when he served as undersecretary of the Navy in the Jimmy Carter administration. He has held other roles under former presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, culminating with the post as director of the CIA between 1993 and 1995.
The person close to Woolsey described him as having chafed at Trump’s loose style on Twitter. They described Woolsey as a “very principled” diplomat who takes care to communicate the right message with just the right words. “This is a guy [for whom] commas, periods, etc., all have special meaning,” this person said.
Woolsey joined the Trump campaign last September, issuing a statement commending Trump’s plans to grow and modernize the military.
“Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face,” he said in the statement. (The Washington Post)