The group of hackers who broke into the CIA Director's personal email account are still at large, and the FBI is worried there may be more attacks targeting high profile public officials and cops to come.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a multi-agency task force led by the FBI, issued an alert on Wednesday, warning politicians and law enforcement agents of the risk of having their email accounts compromised, and their personal information "doxed" by "hacktivists."
While the public service announcement doesn't name a specific person or group, the IC3 is clearly referring to a recent string of high profile hacks by a group of allegedly teenage hackers known as "Crackas With Attitude" or CWA.
In the last month, CWA bragged of breaking into John Brennan's email account, the email account of the FBI's Deputy Director's wife, and also claimed to have gained access to a law enforcement online portal where they found a database of thousands of law enforcement agents' personal details. The hackers said all these actions were done to support Palestine.
The alert also refers to a "recent threat" where hackers contacted a target's Internet Service Provider and used social engineering to obtain details about the account. Attackers can use this information to reset the password on the target's email account and take control, according to the alert.
"Threat actors may also target law enforcement personnel and public officials through doxing," the alert reads. "Doxing is the act of compiling and posting an individual's personal information without permission. The personal information gathered from social media and other Web sites could include home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, and any other information used to target an individual during a cyber attack."
"IC3 are losers anyway lol they have no skill. No matter what they do we beat them."
The FBI also notes that "family members" of officials and law enforcement officers are "at risk."
This is exactly the modus operandi of CWA, although an FBI spokesperson declined to admit that when we reached out for comment, saying only that the alert comes in light of "recent media reports" that "have highlighted hacktivism threats to law enforcement and public officials."
The spokesperson also added that the public service announcement is an update to one issued last April, and a reminder for "individuals to protect the security of their email accounts and to be cautious in posting information to social media."
When I first reached out to Cracka, one of the members of CWA, his response to the alert was "LOL."
"IC3 are losers anyway lol they have no skill," he later told me in a Twitter DM. "No matter what they do we beat them, we had access to their tools too so *.* [sic]."
To counter this threat, the FBI suggests law enforcement officials and their families use two-factor authentication, avoid posting selfies while wearing a uniform, limit all social media presence, and patch and update computers and other devices. Potential targets, according to the FBI, should also perform a search to find out how much information about themselves is available online.