British teen hacker who rocked top US intelligence officials jailed for 'cyber terrorism'

A British teenager who rocked the US intelligence community in a campaign of "cyber terrorism" has been jailed for up for two years.

Kane Gamble, 18, admitted targeting high-profile CIA and FBI figures from his family home in Leicestershire.

Between June 2015 and February 2016, he hacked email and phone accounts, accessing "extremely sensitive" documents on military and intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Old Bailey was told.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave handed him a deterrent sentence of two years in youth detention.

He said Gamble had "revelled" in the attacks, adding: "This was an extremely nasty campaign of politically motivated cyber terrorism.

"The victims would have felt seriously violated."

Gamble impersonated his victims, including then-CIA chief John Brennan and his wife, and FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano, and conned call centres at communications giants Comcast and Verizon into divulging confidential information.

CIA chief John Brennan was among those targeted by Gamble. Credit: PA

After targeting Mr Brennan and his wife Kathy, Gamble posted anonymously on Twitter saying: "@CIA set your game up homies. We own everything. #freepalestine #CWA."

Other victims working under President Barack Obama included James Clapper, director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson.

Gamble taunted them, using a TV in Mr Johnson's family home to post the message "I own you".

Mr Giuliano's passwords were reset and he and his family were bombarded with phone calls, resulting in them getting police protection.

Gamble leaked some of the information he gathered using various websites including WikiLeaks.

Mr Holdren was harassed in a "swat" attack, when a hoax call was made to local police resulting in officers going to his home.

Gamble's targeted high-profile CIA and FBI figures from his family home in Leicestershire. Credit: PA

Gamble, who was aged 15 and 16 at the time, was supported by his mother when he appeared at the Old Bailey.

Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC said aggravating features included the "invasion" of victims' professional and private lives as well as their families.

Mitigating, William Harbage QC said Gamble had a naive response to what he read about in online chat rooms.

He said the defendant never meant to "harm and traumatise people on an individual basis".

Mr Harbage argued for a suspended sentence, saying Gamble was due to sit GCSEs in June and hoped to read computer studies at university and pursue a "useful" career.

Gamble, of Linford Crescent, Coalville, had pleaded guilty to eight charges of performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to computers and two charges of unauthorised modification of computer material.

He made no reaction as he was sentenced but his mother wept in the well of the court.

The judge also ordered the seizure of Gamble's computers.