British teen Kane Gamble admits trying to hack CIA chief

John Brennan testifies on issues in the US Capitol in Washington, May 23, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) - A teenager admitted in a British court on Friday (Oct 6) to trying to hack into the computers of top US officials, including former CIA chief John Brennan, from his home in the East Midlands region of England.

Kane Gamble, 18, pleaded guilty to 10 charges related to the attempted intrusions in late 2015 and early 2016, which targeted the US Department of Justice and an array of senior American security officials.

These included James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence under President Obama; Jeh Johnson, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security; and a deputy director of the FBI.

Gamble, from Coalville, Leicester - a small town 177km north-west of London - pleaded guilty to eight charges of performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access, and two charges of unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of a computer.

He was released on conditional bail ahead of sentencing on Dec 15.

British judges have sentenced defendants in other hacking cases in recent years to up to two years in prison.

Media reports at the time of the attempted breaches said they were part of a wider "hacktivist" group known as "Crackas With Attitude", which targeted the US officials and their families between October 2015 and February 2016.

The US Justice Department arrested two men in September 2016 in North Carolina on suspicion of belonging to the network.

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