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Romania Sentences Hacker 'Guccifer' to 7 Years in Prison

A Romanian national charged with hacking into the online accounts of Romanian politician Corina Cretu, and George Maior, the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), has been sentenced to seven years in prison, the Bucharest courthouse announced on Friday.

Marcel Lazar Lehel, known online as “Guccifer”, received a three year sentence for the cyberattacks against Cretu and another three years for hacking Maior’s email account. The sentences have been merged, and the court has decided to add an extra year to the punishment.

The suspension of the three-year prison sentence handed out to Lehel in 2012 for similar crimes has been revoked so the man could spend seven years in prison if he doesn’t file an appeal. 

The court has also ordered the defendant to pay $3,400 in legal fees to the state, and ordered the confiscation of a silver NEC laptop owned by the hacker.

Most of Guccifer’s victims are in the United States. The hacker has targeted the online accounts of the Bush family, former US Secretary of State Colin Powel, former Air Force Secretary George Roche, author Candace Bushnell, comedian Steve Martin, and venture capitalist John Doerr.

Despite the fact that Romanian law enforcement agencies have cooperated with US authorities on the case, these victims have not been named in court. Furthermore, representatives of the Romanian general prosecutor’s office told Reuters that they’re unaware of any extradition requests made by the US.

Lehel was arrested at his home in January 2014 and pleaded guilty in late May. While he admitted hacking into three personal email accounts owned by Maior and Cretu, he denied representing a threat to national security, as prosecutors suggested.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.