The head of the CIA was “outraged” by a teenager’s apparent hacking of his personal AOL email account, he said on Tuesday.
At the same time, Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead In dramatic shift, national intelligence director does not rule out 'extraterrestrial' origins for UFOs Durham's latest indictment: More lines drawn to Clinton's campaign MORE scolded some media outlets over reports about the leak of his personal documents, which he indicated gave a false impression about what the email account was used for and what it contained.
“I was certainly outraged by it,” Brennan said at a conference at George Washington University. “I certainly was concerned about what people might try to do with that information."
“I was also dismayed at how some of the media handled it and the inferences there were," he added.
Some media reports contained an “implication” that he was “doing something inappropriate or wrong or [in] violation of my security responsibilities” by using the personal account, Brennan added, “which was certainly not the case.”
“I think sometimes there is this ever-present thirst for trying to make something sexier and also blow it up more than it is, and also giving air to what is criminal activity and propagating information,” Brennan said. “I think that was inappropriate by some.”
WikiLeaks last week started posting a handful of documents stolen from Brennan’s personal email account by an apparent teenage hacker. According to reports, the hacker posed as an employee of Verizon and got access to Brennan's account from the telecom company.
The documents are largely draft forms of agency memos and other notes. Noting on the account appears to be classified.
One document — Brennan’s security clearance background check form — contains personal information about his wife and family members, including addresses, birthdays and Social Security numbers.
Federal officials are investigating the data theft but have yet to make an arrest.
Brennan said Tuesday that the incident ought to serve as an illustration of the multiple growing vulnerabilities of the cyber world.
“What it does is to underscore just how vulnerable people are to those who want to cause harm and the social engineering that goes on and the manipulation of the system allows individuals to carry our criminal activities against U.S. citizens,” Brennan said.
“I think it does epitomize, in many respects, what we have to deal with in this increasingly modern and interconnected world. It’s a reality of the 21st century.”