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Man Pleads Guilty to Hacking Accounts of U.S. Officials

Justin G. Liverman, a 24-year-old from North Carolina, has pleaded guilty for his part in a hacking conspiracy that targeted several U.S. government officials, including CIA chief John Brennan.

Liverman, known online as “D3F4ULT,” is believed to be a member of the hacker group calling itself “Crackas With Attitude.” The man entered a plea agreement last week, admitting to conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer intrusions, identity theft, and telephone harassment.

According to authorities, between October 2015 and February 2016, the hacker group used social engineering and other techniques to gain access to the online accounts of U.S. government officials and their families, and government computer systems. In addition to CIA director John Brennan, the group also targeted U.S. spy chief James Clapper, and senior figures in the FBI, the DHS, the White House and other federal agencies.

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

Liverman, whose sentencing is scheduled for May 12, faces up to five years in prison. Andrew Otto Boggs, a Crackas With Attitude member known online as “INCURSIO,” is expected to plead guilty this week. Boggs, who is also from North Carolina, was arrested at around the same time as Liverman.

When Liverman and Boggs were arrested, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that three other alleged members of the group had been under investigation by authorities in the United Kingdom. One of them is a 16-year-old arrested in February 2016.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at 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.