A British 18-year-old appeared in a UK court yesterday, accused of impersonating the CIA chief John Brennan and accessing the accounts of top US intelligence and security officials.
Young Mr Kane Gamble was only 15 when he was able to hack into the CIA Chief’s account and send out messages on his behalf.
The court was informed how the teenager was able to access Mr Brennan's private email and iCloud account, take control of his wife's iPad and get access to sensitive military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The lad from a council house in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CoalVille?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CoalVille</a> who outsmarted the <a href="https://twitter.com/CIA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CIA</a>. <br>The report states Kane Gamble (by name & nature) wasn't a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hacker?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hacker</a>, but a 'social engineer' & outsmarted them all. Give him a job <a href="https://twitter.com/GCHQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GCHQ</a> - not Jail. <a href="https://t.co/QgDQkBC3px">https://t.co/QgDQkBC3px</a></p>— Greens For Liberty🔰 (@Greens4Liberty) <a href="https://twitter.com/Greens4Liberty/status/954557435204775938?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones explained: "Kane Gamble gained access to the communications accounts of some very high-ranking US intelligence officials and government employees."
"He also gained access to US law enforcement and intelligence agency networks."
The teen’s lawyer states that his client admits to 10 counts of violating the UK’s computer misuse act.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr Steffan Davies claims the boy suffers from autism, which would explain his behaviour as well as clarify why he didn't understand the significance of what he was doing.
"I'm very clear that he has an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). He spent most of his life in his bedroom on the internet and that is where he is getting his cues from."
"He has a very black and white understanding of what was happening, seeing it more as a video game with goodies and baddies. He was trying to right what he saw as an injustice."
However, an expert for the prosecution, Dr Philip Joseph, claims that young Mr Gamble could indeed suffer from mild autism but that this didn't explain for his online behaviour: "If he had that condition, it doesn't explain why he committed these offences."