George W Bush hacker Guccifer to spend 52 months in the big house

And that's on top of the seven years in the clink in his home nation of Romania

Notorious celebrity hacker Guccifer will spend at least four years in prison on charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to computer systems.

Guccifer – in real life, taxi driver Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, of Romania – was sentenced today by US district court judge James Cacheris after hearing of Lazar's lack of remorse, the likelihood of him doing it all over again, and his unwillingness to cooperate with US authorities.

Lazar pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year after he was arrested in Arad, Romania, and hauled into a Virginia courthouse in America.

Guccifer has long claimed responsibility for a hacking spree from 2012 to 2014 during which he broke into personal email inboxes and hijacked social media accounts of more than 100 people. After using social engineering attacks to swipe their private photos, documents and messages, he would leak them to journalists and the web for all to gawp at.

Among the victims were family members of US President George W Bush, Hollywood celebrities, an intelligence bigwig, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He also claimed to have infiltrated Hillary Clinton's email server, though authorities have disputed that boast.

"Lazar's victims included an immediate family member of two former US presidents, a former member of the US Cabinet, a former member of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former presidential advisor, he admitted," the Department of Justice said in announcing the sentencing.

"In many instances, Lazar publicly released his victims' private email correspondence, medical and financial information, and personal photographs, according to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement."

That haul included paintings by President Bush. Guccifer also revealed that Hillary Clinton used a private email address while she was secretary of state.

Lazar also has to complete a seven-year sentence in his home country, where he was convicted on separate charges for hacking the accounts of Romanian government officials. The miscreant may be released from his US federal prison in 2018 to finish that stretch back in Romania before returning to America to complete his time behind bars. ®

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022