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Justin Liverman, a student from North Carolina, has admitted collaborating in a harassment scheme targeting US officials and their families.
Liverman is accused of breaking into the personal email account of CIA director John Brennan; committing identity theft; and anonymously conspiring to harass victims, according to a statement of facts released in the plea agreement.
He is understood to have been operating online under the handle “D3f4ult” and to have formed part of a hacking group of five individuals named “Crackas with Attitude”.
The group released details of Brennan’s personal emails, including sensitive information, to WikiLeaks in 2015. Prosecutors claim it caused $1.5 million in damage.
Liverman, 24, faces up to five years in jail for unlawfully accessing US officials’ online accounts to send them and their families threatening text messages.
He also allegedly paid a third party to badger them with numerous threatening phone calls.
Advised by experienced lawyers, he will attempt to undertake an agreement which allows him to plead guilty to one felony count of conspiracy in exchange for receiving a less severe sentence.
His lawyers insist the heads of the CIA, the National Cyber Command and US Homeland Security are “cyber-insecure”, declaring that Brennan neglected to take the advised two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security.
The other individual arrested in connection with this harassment scheme is Andrew Otto Boggs (also known as INCURSIO).
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security