A previous CIPPGuide.org article addressed the ongoing investigation into former US Secretary of State and potential Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server. A Romanian hacker known as Guccifer, 44-year-old Marcel Lehel Lazar, has since stepped forward claiming he accessed Clinton’s server and emails.
Lazar was charged with two cybercrimes separate from Clinton: unauthorized computer access and identity theft. Former Secretary of State Colin Powel and previous Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal are the victims. Lazar accepted a plea deal in exchange for cooperating with the FBI in the future. The future may be now, as the FBI is looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email and server while in office. Lazar agreed to provide documents and other media in his possession for the government’s investigations and inquiries. Clinton’s former IT specialist Bryan Pagliano has already been granted immunity with the Justice Department.
Persistence Pays Off?
After hacking into Blumenthal’s account, Lazar claimed he found Clinton’s information and accessed her server without any trouble. The Romanian says he got into hundreds of accounts belonging to US citizens from celebrities to government officials. It would seem to be the work of a sophisticated, educated hacker, right? Wrong. At the time, Lazar was an unemployed high school dropout who never had a job in computers. He says he utilizes persistent, almost obsessive, research to enter his marks. How did he get into Powel’s email account? He says he guessed the password after researching family members’ names. He also allegedly got into a Romanian politician’s account by guessing her security question about the street she grew up on from an Internet search about where she went to elementary school.
Before being extradited to the US to face charges, Lazar was serving time in Romania for hacking there. Now, “Guccifer” is looking at $500,000 in fines and seven years in prison.