"Whoops" doesn't even begin to cover it.
A US high school student claims to have hacked the personal AOL account of CIA Director John Brennan - six of which have now been published by internet scamps WikiLeaks.
The student, apparently motivated by an anger toward US foreign policy, used "social engineering" (not fancy computer trickery, but rather a tactic of using charm and impersonation to dupe workers at Verizon into providing Brennan’s personal information and convincing AOL into resetting his password) to gain access to the AOL account, in which he found emails and documents with sensitive security-related files.
Emails released by WikiLeaks so far include recommendations from Brennan made in 2007 on how the next president should deal with Iran, an email from a Senate committee on how to make interrogation methods compliant with US laws and an application for a national security position.
The leak comes just six months after former secretary of state Hillary Clinton was found to be using her personal email to send confidential material, rather than a secure US government email server.
Other emails stored in Brennan’s AOL account contained personal information of more than a dozen top American intelligence officials. The hacker told the New York Post he had read sensitive information stored on attachments to around 40 emails.
The CIA has stated that the emails in Brennan's personal account were of the kind that "a private citizen with national security interests and expertise would be expected to possess" - as each of the leaked emails dates from 2009, at a point when Brennan was working in the private sector, looking to gain security clearance to work with the White House.
The FBI is now investigating the hack, with criminal charges against unidentified student a possibility.
We're off to make sure our email accounts contain nothing but subscriptions and requests for our bank details from Nigerian royalty.