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North Carolina Hacker Pleads Guilty to Targeting Senior US Officials

  • Associated Press

FILE - CIA director John Brennan speaks about CIA strategy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., July 13, 2016. In 2015, hackers gained access to personal online accounts of senior U.S. government officials, including Brennan.

A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to participating in a hacker conspiracy that targeted CIA Director John Brennan and other government officials.

Twenty-four-year-old Justin Gray Liverman of Morehead City, who used the online name “D3F4ULT,” faces up to five years in prison after pleading to a single conspiracy count Friday in federal court in Alexandria.

Liverman admitted belonging to the hacking group “Crackas With Attitude.” Beginning in 2015, the hackers gained access to personal online accounts of senior U.S. government officials and sent them harassing and insulting messages. The officials are not named in court papers, but details make clear that Brennan was among the victims.

Liverman's lawyers said in a statement that their client deserves credit for exposing lax online security practices of Brennan and other officials.

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