WikiLeaks Publishes Documents From Hacked CIA Director Email Account

The anti-secrecy organization publishes documents hacked by teenage hackers.

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Oct 21 2015, 7:53pm

Image: The White House

There's no better platform to leak secrets than WikiLeaks.

At least, that's what a team of teenage hackers must have thought when they passed the alleged contents of CIA DIrector John Brennan's AOL email account to Julian Assange's organization.

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks published a few documents, allegedly from Brennan's email account. WikiLeaks announced the leak on Twitter.

The organization said that Brennan "used the account occasionally for several intelligence related projects," and released six documents to support the claim. WikiLeaks said it would release more documents "over the coming days."

At first glance, the documents don't seem to contain overly sensitive information, as none of them is marked as classified. The one that's perhaps more sensitive is a draft of Brennan's Standard Form 86 form. The SF86 form is a long and comprehensive questionnaire that government employees looking to get a security clearance needs to fill. The form asks the employee for all kinds of highly personal information about themselves, such as alcohol and drug use, and about his or her family.

The documents don't seem to contain overly sensitive information, as none of them is marked as classified.

The form is not complete—many fields are blank—but contains some personal details, such as Brennan's social security number, home address, telephone numbers, and a list of people that know him well, as well as family members.

On Monday, a group of teenage hacktivists calling itself "Crackas With Attitude" or CWA claimed to have hacked into Brennan's AOL email account, thanks to some elaborate social engineering. One of the hackers told Motherboard that it was all so easy a "5 year old could do it."

The hackers posted a list allegedly containing the social security and telephone numbers of some intelligence officers, but it's unclear whether the information was accurate. Asked to provide more information to confirm the hack, the group declined, failing to conclusively prove that they really took control of Brennan's email account.

On Monday, the CIA only said that the agency "referred" the claims to the "appropriate authorities," but declined to comment any further.

Regardless, the hackers claimed that they found sensitive documents inside the account, and posted a screenshot of a document that seemed to show a fax from the CIA Office of General Counsel—not exactly a top secret document.

The hacker who controls the Anonymous-linked Twitter account GroupAnon, who asked to be referred to as CockSec, also obtained a series of screenshots of documents allegedly found inside Brennan's account. CockSec shared them with Motherboard on Tuesday. Some of the documents appear to be snapshots of the same ones WikiLeaks released.

The other documents released by WikiLeaks are a memo to President Barack Obama on "the conundrum of Iran," a paper on US intelligence challenges in post 9/11 world, and internal Congressional correspondence about the CIA's torture program, which was not publicly available until now, although their contents have been discussed on the Senate floor.