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Man Sentenced to Prison for Hacking Accounts of U.S. Officials

Justin G. Liverman, a 25-year-old from Morehead City, North Carolina, has been sentenced to prison for his role in a hacking conspiracy that targeted the online accounts of U.S. officials and their families.

Liverman, known online as “D3F4ULT,” admitted being a member of the Crackas With Attitude hacker group. In January, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer intrusions, identity theft, and phone harassment.

He was sentenced on Friday by a court in the Eastern District of Virginia to 5 years in prison. Another member of Crackas With Attitude, 23-year-old Andrew Otto Bogs, also of North Carolina, was sentenced to 2 years in prison in June for his role in the conspiracy.

Three other individuals believed to be members of the hacker group, including a 17-year-old boy, are from the United Kingdom and they are being prosecuted by local authorities.

Between October 2015 and February 2016, Crackas With Attitude used social engineering and other techniques to gain access to government systems, and the accounts of U.S. officials and their families. The group’s victims included CIA director John Brennan, U.S. spy chief James Clapper, and senior figures in the FBI, the DHS, the White House and other federal agencies.

The hackers leaked the victims’ personal details and harassed them over the phone. Liverman published documents and personal information obtained from one victim’s account, sent them threatening text messages, and used a “phonebombing” service that repeatedly called the victim with a threatening message.

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.