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US files charges against Romanian hacker ‘Guccifer' for president hacks

13 Jun 2014

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has indicted Romanian hacker "Guccifer" on numerous charges including allegations he stole sensitive data from two former US presidents.

Romanaian Marcel Lehel Lazar, 42, known in hacker circles as Guccifer, stands accused of hacking into the email and social media accounts of numerous high-profile victims.

The charges include attacks on family members of two former US presidents, a former US Cabinet member, a former member of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a former presidential adviser.

The indictment also accuses Lazar of impersonating a victim after compromising their account in July and August 2013. If found guilty of any of the charges, Lazar will face between two to 20 years in prison.

Lazar has already been found guilty of several cyber crimes in his native Romania. Romanian law enforcement arrested Lazar in January. The Romanian court sentenced him to four years in jail last week.

It is currently unclear if the US will seek Lazar's extradition and at the time of publishing the DoJ had not responded to V3's request for comment. However, Reuters has quoted an unnamed source as saying "the office had no knowledge of any US requests for Lehel's extradition".

Lazar is one of many hackers to have been arrested in recent months. The DoJ charged five Chinese officials with spying on US firms in May.

More recently, the Russian Interior Ministry announced it had stopped a hacker group responsible for a wave of cyber attacks locking Apple devices.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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