WikiLeaks posts data from CIA director's email account

CIA director John Brennan reportedly used his AOL account to store possibly classified -- or, at very least, sensitive -- materials.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
CIA's John Brennan delivers remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2014.
(Image: file photo via CNET)

Following an alleged hack earlier this week, WikiLeaks has released documents stored in the private email account of CIA director John Brennan.

In a brief statement Wednesday, the whistleblowing organization said it will release documents from the email account which he is said to have used for "several intelligence related projects."

At the time of writing, six documents have been published online. The authenticity of the documents cannot be independently verified.

Some of the documents appear to be public domain or at least non-classified, but one document is marked "protected" and "to be disclosed only in accordance with Government Accountability Office protected order."

One of the documents purports to be Brennan's draft SF86, a document used to determine a candidate's eligibility to later receive classified material. Millions of these documents are thought to have been the main target of an earlier breach at the Office of Personnel Management earlier this year, which China is suspected of carrying out.

It's not clear if Brennan's alleged draft SF86 is considered classified or not, but it appears the document has a considerable amount of personal information about the CIA director.

Hackers earlier this week said they accessed Brennan's personal AOL email account by using social engineering techniques, reports Wired. The hackers "were able to access sensitive government documents stored as attachments in Brennan's personal account because the spy chief had forwarded them from his work email," the report said.

Brennan replaced Gen. David Patraeus, who stepped down in November 2012 after he mishandled classified information by allegedly storing it in a Gmail drafts folder. Patraeus avoided jail by pleading guilty, and was fined $100,000.

It seems possible that Brennan could -- if shown to have also stored classified information in a non-secure server -- face a similar fate.

A National Security Council spokesperson did not comment on the record.

A CIA spokesperson, in a statement to The Hill, did not verify or dispute the authenticity of the documents, adding: "The hacking of the Brennan family account is a crime and the Brennan family is the victim."

This post has been updated.

Editorial standards