WASHINGTON (WNCN) – Two North Carolina men were arrested Thursday on charges related to hacking senior U.S. government officials and U.S. government computer systems, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
The men were identified as Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, of North Wilkesboro, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, of Morehead City.
Boggs and Liverman conspired with a hacking group called “Crackas With Attitude,” according to documents filed with the court.
The group used “social engineering” hacking techniques, like victim impersonation around October 2015 until February to gain access to the personal online accounts of senior U.S. government officials, their families, and several U.S. government computer systems.
The group gained access to an FBI database containing arrest records, personal information and other sensitive data, including information about active shooters and terrorist events.
The FBI says the hacker group also released the names, phone numbers and emails of more than 29,000 FBI and Department of Homeland Security employees.
Three of the members of the group are located in the United Kingdom and are being investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Earlier this year, British authorities arrested a 16-year-old who they say used the name “CRACKA” online to target CIA director John Brennan.
Two other teens accused of being in the group were known as “DERP” and “CUBED.”
The DOJ affidavit cites an email where Boggs says, “I want to carry on (CRACKA’S) legacy if or when he is arrested. I know he’ll receive a harsh sentence because our government doesn’t like being embarrassed.”
Boggs and Liverman will have their initial appearances at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia next week in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan.
The U.S. Department of Justice says members of the group made harassing phone calls to victims and their families, defaced victims’ social media accounts and uploaded private information they got from victims’ personal accounts to public websites.