Using social engineering skills and a bit of technical know-how, a 15-year-old boy was able to torment and taunt high-ranking intelligence officials from the United States back in 2015 and 2016.
Really, his skills are quite impressive. From the bedroom of his home in Leicestershire, Kane Gamble managed to post the phrase ‘I own you’ on the television set of one of the aforementioned officials.
He also somehow managed to access intelligence operations plans in Iran and Afghanistan, and he did so by pretending to be the head of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Obviously, those plans should be considered very sensitive information, and they should not be accessed by any civilian.
Figures targeted by Kane Gamble include Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security and John Brennan, the director of the CIA. Even James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence was targeted by the talented young hacker. So was Mark Giuliano, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
While you have to be at least a little bit impressed by the sheer skill that must have been involved in order for him to do what he did, Kane’s little reign of terror wasn’t exactly fun and games. To a certain degree, he was committing acts of terrorism – he was definitely causing terror in the hearts and minds of his victims. For example, at one point he sent Jeh Johnson a picture of his daughter and said he would fornicate with her.
He used a much less classy word for fornication that we won’t use here.
He also called Johnson’s wife and left her a voice mail asking if he was scaring her. Kane also claimed that he had gained access to Johnson’s call logs and posted that information online for the world to see.
Allegedly, Kane was able to access Johnson’s Comcast account using personal information that he had collected, which certainly explains how he was able to harass the Homeland Security Secretary and his family.
Again, what Kane did was not exactly fun and games—he downloaded pornography onto his victims’ computers, which certainly is not a laughing matter. He was also able to control their iPads. One family was harassed so badly that they actually hired an armed guard to protect them at their home.
He also posed as a United States intelligence executive by breaking into her social media accounts, and he sent messages whilst pretending to be her.
Now 18, details of Kane’s reign of terror have been heard in court, and he pleaded guilty to several charges. Defense for the young man claims that his actions were the result of being on the autism spectrum and were politically motivated; they were not, the defense claimed, motivated by a desire for money. According to the defense, while Kane is chronologically 18 years of age now, he was only as mentally developed as a boy of 12 or 13 when he committed his crimes.
When he was committing his crimes, Kane was part of a group named “Crackas With Attitude”. He founded the organization. He did so, he claimed, because he was getting more and more irritated with how “corrupt and cold-blooded” the United States government is—at least that’s how he viewed things.
It should be worth pointing out that Kane wasn’t technically hacking in the traditional sense of the word. He was using social engineering to harass his victims, which involves manipulating people more than anything else. An example would be calling a help desk and getting staff to reveal personal information, thereby gaining access to his victims’ phones, emails, etcetera.
If Kane was just pranking intelligence officials, that would have been one thing – perhaps not a laughing matter, but not extremely serious all things considered; however, he posted sensitive military and intelligence-related information on social media and WikiLeaks, which is definitely a very serious matter. He would taunt United States officials about his ability to do so, claiming his actions were because the United States government was killing innocent people in Palestine.
At one point, during a chat on the internet, Kane claimed he was considering not anymore any more sensitive information; however, he reconsidered that, as he believes that the United States is killing innocent people every day.
Kane’s actions finally caught up with him in 2016 after managing to access the details of thousands of FBI employees and also case files. The United States Secret Service even got involved; after contacting the police in the United Kingdom, Kane was arrested at his home.
Kane is known to be something of a loner; allegedly, the person to whom he is closest is his mother. Said mother won 1.6 million pounds in the lottery back in the 1990’s, but apparently lost it all on bad property investment deals.
After his arrest, Kane apparently told doctors that what he did was “kind of easy”.
Kane, who pleaded guilty to ten crimes, will be sentenced at a later date.
H/T – Source