The Romanian hacker who first exposed Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email to the American public has been sentenced to 52 months in prison for unauthorized computer access and aggravated identity theft. Marcel Lehel Lazar, also known by his online name “Guccifer,” was sentenced for his crimes on Thursday.
Romanian hacker who targeted the Bush family, Colin Powell and others sentenced to more than four years in prison. https://t.co/UMUSVQPbuA
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 1, 2016
Reuters reports that the Romanian hacker “Guccifer” was sentenced in American courts on Thursday to 52 months in prison. The sentencing comes after Marcel Lehel Lazar was extradited from Romania to the United States to face charges after hacking into the Bush family’s private email accounts between 2012 and 2014. Guccifer is believed to have accessed the accounts of 100 American victims before releasing some of the private information to the public.
Hacker ‘Guccifer’ jailed for four years https://t.co/AdHVDmCh4C
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 1, 2016
Lazar pleaded guilty to charges of unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft back in May but the judge says he expressed no remorse for accessing the private data. According to Fox News, Guccifer’s victims included Dorothy Bush Koch, the sister of former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.
It was emails exchanged between Blumenthal and Clinton that first exposed to the public the Clintonemail.com address that resulted in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information on her private email server. Though Guccifer did not initiate the claims, he was the first to expose the server as a potential breach in security by making the email address public.
Court documents reveal that Guccifer was not a computer programmer or IT expert but rather had a strong understanding of social networking. In fact, the hacker used only a cell phone, old computer, and publicly available biological information of his targets to gain access to their accounts.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 1, 2016
Guccifer guessed passwords and security questions of account holders after heavily researching publicly available biological information on his victims. The courts reveal that Guccifer himself noted his success rate of hacking into social media and email accounts was only 8-10 percent, but apparently, that was enough to access the information of 100 victims.
The hacker says he kept a color-coded file of his targets indicating if he had successfully hacked into their accounts
“From what I remember I was using red for accounts I hacked, orange for the ones I could hack, and green for the ones I tried to hack and was not able to.”
While the Romanian hacker was sentenced in American courts, his plea deal may allow him to serve out his sentence in Romania where he was serving a seven-year sentence for a similar crime. His lawyer is asking that he be returned to Romania to finish out both sentences. The lawyer notes that Lazar is not a threat as he is cooperating fully with the United States’ investigation. The court documents reveal that Lazar even went so far as to attempt to help recover the personal data from his victims and help close security loopholes that allowed him to gain access to their accounts.
Though the court case revolved around the 2012 to 2014 hacks involving the Bush family, Guccifer has made claims that he also hacked into Hillary Clinton’s personal server. He said that it was “easy” and would be for anybody.
“For me, it was easy… easy for me, for everybody.”
However, the FBI has refuted those claims noting that there is no way that Lazar could have hacked into Clinton’s server as he did not have the appropriate knowledge. They pointed to the fact that Lazar focused solely on AOL, Facebook, and Yahoo accounts in his previous hacks. Nevertheless, Lazar says he did hack into Clinton’s server and that he used “Blumenthal’s account as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. “
Though Guccifer is behind bars, there is another hacker making waves who is going by the name Guccifer 2.0. The new Guccifer recently released information reportedly taken from Nancy Pelosi’s computer that reveals that Democrats had talking points about Benghazi and proved they knew the attack was not due to a Youtube video.
— CROOKED HITLARY #1 (@MOVEFORWARDHUGE) September 1, 2016
Guccifer 2.0 has been identified as possibly Russian, but Guccifer 1.0, Lazar, said that he always used Russian proxy servers in his attacks. Therefore, it is unknown if the new Guccifer is located in Russia or simply using a proxy server like his namesake.
What do you think about Guccifer’s sentence?
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