Guy Accused Of Leaking President Bush's Paintings Indicted For Hacking In The US
from the extradition-coming dept
An online hacker who went by the name “Guccifer” got a lot of attention a year and a half ago or so for regularly hacking into the email and social media accounts of various political officials and insiders along with some Hollywood folks, with the most high profile being former President George W. Bush’s email, leading to the leaking of some of Bush’s early attempts at painting. But that was hardly all. Among others, he hacked into email and/or social media accounts of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Colin Powell, top Hillary Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, venture capitalist John Doerr, former White House chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein, actor Jeffrey Tambor (Jeffrey Tambor?!?!), Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, President Obama’s head of the National Intelligence Council Christopher Kojm and the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration Neile Miller. In other words, Guccifer was pretty busy.
Then, earlier this year he was arrested in Romania. It turned out that he was Marcel Lazar Lehel, a Romanian cabdriver. Thing is, he didn’t just hack the famous and powerful in the US — but in Romania as well. Just last week, he was sentenced to four years in jail in Romania, with the possibility of more for earlier hacks. And, just like that, the FBI has announced an indictment against him as well, meaning that the US will likely to get him extradited (and, yes, the US has an extradition treaty with Romania).
While the indictment does not name the people who were hacked, calling them Victim 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, it’s not difficult to figure out that Victim 1 is President Bush’s sister Dorothy Bush, which is how he got the GWB paintings (GWB had sent photos of them to his sister) and Victim 3 is Colin Powell, who had to deny an affair with a foreign diplomat after some of his emails were leaked. The indictment appears to suggest a particular infatuation with Powell, as it also included hacks of his Facebook page and posting anti-Bush rants on Powell’s Facebook page.
I’m always a little nervous about computer hacking cases, because the government is fairly well known for exaggerating non-hacking situations and pretending that they’re hacking under the CFAA, but assuming that this guy really did get into all of these accounts, it seems like what the CFAA was more written to cover in the first place.
The full indictment is below, but what I’m trying to figure out is how “victim 2” got included in the list. Notice if you can spot which one of the following “is different from the others” in the list below:
- Victim 1… was a family member of two former U.S. presidents who was the true owner of an AOL account….
- Victim 2… was a sanitation engineer who was the true owner of an AOL account….
- Victim 3… was a former U.S. Cabinet member who resided in the Eastern District of Virginia. Victim 3 was the true owner of an AOL account with subaccounts and a Facebook account….
- Victim 4… was a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who was the true owner of a Facebook account….
- Victim 5, known to the grand jury, was a journalist and former presidential advisor who was the true owner of an AOL account with subaccounts….
It just seems that if you were to put the five of those together at a Washington DC cocktail party, one of them would stick out as somewhat different from the others.