According to a British court in 2018, a 15-year-old accessed sensitive plans for intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran by pretending to be the head of the CIA.
The youth from Leicestershire, Kane Gamble used “social engineering” — a process where a person constructs a picture of information and uses it to manipulate other individuals into handing over more information — in order to access the personal and work accounts of some of America’s highest-ranking intelligence officials.
The teenager was able to convince employees at an internet giant that he was John Brennan, the CIA director at the time, to be able to access his computers.
Similarly, the teenager pretended to be Mark Giuliano, the FBI’s Deputy Director, when calling the FBI helpdesk in order to access the intelligence database.
Gamble also targeted the US Secretary of Homeland Security and Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.
The British teenager taunted his targets online, leaked personal information, flooded them with calls and messages, downloaded pornography onto their computers and took over their iPads and TVs, according to a court.
Justice Haddon-Cave stated: “He got these people in his control and played with them in order to make their lives difficult.”
The prosecutor, John Lloyd-Jones, claimed that Gamble founded Crackas With Attitude (CWA) in 2015.
Gamble told a journalist: “It all started by me getting more and more annoyed about how corrupt and cold blooded the US Government are so I decided to do something about it.”
Lloyd-Jones said this incident did not involve hacking but instead involved the use of “social engineering” to get information from emails, phones, computers and law enforcement portals.
“It involves manipulating people, invariably call centre or help desk staff, into permitting acts or divulging confidential information,” the prosecutor stated.
Gamble pleaded guilty to ten offences under the computer misuse act.
He first targeted Brennan and was able to enter his Verizon internet account by initially pretending to be an employee of the company and then Brennan himself in order to build up a fake persona.
Gamble was at first denied access to Brennan’s computers because he could not name Brennan’s first pet, but the handler changed the pin and security questions in subsequent calls.
He later employed similar methods to gain access to Brennan’s AOL account. Afterwards, Gamble successfully accessed Brennan’s emails, contacts, his iCloud storage account and his wife’s iPad remotely.
Lloyd-Jones stated: “He accessed some extremely sensitive accounts referring to, among other things, military operations and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran.”
Gamble, who is now 18, then posted sensitive information on Twitter and Wikileaks and taunted officials about gaining access to sensitive information.
Occasionally, he used the tag #freePalestine and claimed it was because the U.S. Government was “killing innocent people”.
Gamble employed similar techniques when he hacked the home broadband of Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and was able to listen to his voicemails and send texts from his phone.
He overwhelmed Johnson and his wife with calls, asking her: “Am I scaring you?” and left messages threatening to “bang his daughter”, according to the court.
Gamble’s actions are reprehensible and should be punished accordingly given how they were directed towards former and current officials of the U.S. government.
Nevertheless, this kind of antagonism is to be expected.
Flashback: Man Died on Video in 2016 After Dallas Police Pinned Him to Ground, Yet There Were No Riots…
A report last year from the Dallas Morning News highlighted how Tony Timpa screamed and begged for help more than 30 times as Dallas law enforcement “pinned his shoulders, knees and neck to the ground.”
Timpa bellowed, “You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!”
After Timpa lost conscious, the officers who handcuffed him thought he was asleep and didn’t bother to find out if he was breathing or had a pulse.
As Timpa slowly died, the officers were laughing and joking about waking Timpa up for school and making him waffles for breakfast.
According to body camera footage that The Dallas Morning News obtained, the police officers waited at least four minutes after Timpa stopped breathing to start implementing CPR. The Dallas Morning News noted that “His nose was buried in the grass while officers claimed to hear him snoring — apparently unaware that the unarmed man was drawing his last breaths.”
The News added, “The officers pinned his handcuffed arms behind his back for nearly 14 minutes and zip-tied his legs together. By the time he was loaded onto a gurney and put into an ambulance, the 32-year-old was dead.”
The Dallas newspaper was able to obtain the Dallas Police Department body camera footage after a three-year campaign to get records connected to Timpa’s death.
On July 29, 2019, a federal judge ruled in favor of a motion by The News and NBC5 to put out records from his death, declaring that “the public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement.”
Timpa originally called the police on August 10, 2016, from the parking lot of a Dallas porn store. He said he was afraid and was in need of assistance. He informed a dispatcher that he was afflicted by schizophrenia and depression and was no longer on his prescription medication. The News first reported Timpa’s death in a 2017 investigation that depicted Dallas police’s refusal to explain how a man who had called 911 for help ended up dead.
Timpa’s family filed a lawsuit in federal court to obtain the records of this incident and they alleged excessive force, which contradicted key assertions Dallas police have made in defending the first responders’ actions.
According to the police report, Timpa’s behavior on the night of his death was “aggressive and combative.” The video depicts Timpa wincing in pain and fighting to breathe, begging the officers to stop pinning on the ground.
In a custodial death report that the police department submitted to the state in 2016, the department replied “no” to questions about whether Timpa was resisting arrest, threatening or fighting officers.
The Dallas Morning News offered a summary of what took place on the night Timpa died:
Police had previously claimed to use only enough force necessary to block Timpa from rolling into a busy section of Mockingbird Lane. In the first minute, Timpa rolls around near the curb. But the video shows a police car clearly blocks traffic about a minute later near the bus bench where the officers had pinned him. Several officers continue pressing his restrained body into the ground.
Timpa had already been handcuffed by a private security guard before police came on the scene. He never threatened to hurt or kill the police in this incident
Timpa died within 20 minutes of the police’s arrival, and at least 15 minutes prior to an ambulance transported his body to Parkland hospital.
According to an autopsy, Timpa’s cause of death was rule a “homicide, sudden cardiac death” due to “the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint.”
Despite the news emerging from this case, no one rioted in Dallas, nor tried to use this incident to pursue a racial agenda.
There are important questions to ask about policing in America, but they should be done through the political process and in a peaceful manner.
Such impulsive actions of lawlessness do the victims of government abuse no justice.
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