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Hacker Report: Part 2 | Guccifer Caught! | Hacked Presidents George Bush Sr & Jr, Hillary Clinton, And More
By Rachael O'Halloran
Published September 11, 2014
The hacker known as Guccifer seemed uncatchable
Guccifer in Court
February 7, 2013
According to emails between The Smoking Gun and Guccifer, the hacker contends that:
"The feds” began investigating him a “long time ago,” and that he has hacked “hundreds of accounts.” Asked if he was concerned about an FBI/Secret Service investigation, he replied crytically, “i have an old game with the fucking bastards inside, this is just another chapter in the game.”
Former Presidents Bush Were Both Hacked
Colin Powell and Corina Cretu
Guccifer, Finally Caught
Guccifer led the FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service on a merry chase from December 2012 until January 2014, as he hacked his way through AOL, Facebook, Comcast and various provider email accounts of at least two former Presidents of the United States (POTUS), their families and friends, many government dignitaries and some Hollywood movie stars. Reading over his statements to various media websites, he seems to have enjoyed every minute of it.
Although 42-year old Guccifer initially made himself known to the news media and some of his prey around January 2013, he began hacking long before then which is evidenced by his record of several prison terms in Romania over the last 20 years.
The Romanian primarily used the name Guccifer, but also used the screen names of Guccifer Seven, The Small Fume and Miculfum. His real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar (or Lazarus).
Guccifer didn't get caught easily, even though he gave his victims, the news media, the FBI, the CIA and the Secret Service more than ample opportunity to catch him by taunting them almost daily with braggart emails and watermarked screenshots showing his stolen booty.
Largely unemployed except for a year in 2011 as a taxi-driver, he had a knack for computers and from his criminal record, he was always a hacker at heart with a long string of probations and jail time.
He was finally caught in January 2014, but not by the United States. How convenient is it that his own country got to arrest him first, for hacking high level Romanian government officials! He was sentenced to four years in a Romanian prison before the US could even prepare an indictment.
That's because the United States was too busy arguing over jurisdiction. After all the internet providers duked it out over who got to take the case to a Grand Jury, Facebook (in CA) conceded that since Virginia-based America Online (AOL) was the most infiltrated, they should claim jurisdiction.
So, AOL presented their case to the Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia which finally issued an indictment for the hacker in June 2014, but a tad too late. By the time they got off their duffs to issue the paperwork, he was already incarcerated in a Romanian prison.
U P D A T E
At the time of his arrest, due to a previous hacking conviction which resulted in 12 years of probation, Guccifer had three years to go on the sentence. In July 2014, for violating his probation, the extra three years was added to his four year sentence for a total of seven years in prison.
Romania was concerned with Romanian crimes. Guccifer's crimes in the US didn't enter their picture. The United States prosecutors were on their own.
Because the US has an extradition treaty with Romania, when Guccifer is released from prison (or if by some chance it happens before his sentence is completed), he will be extradited to Virginia in the United States to face the charges. Otherwise, the US has to wait seven years to get their man.
- Everything about this case is suspicious to me. How about you? This guy had no interest or reason for wanting to hack the people he did. He had nothing to gain. But .... if Guccifer was working for someone else, perhaps those parties had much to gain. He unearthed a lot of "dirt" especially about Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and several others that would be of benefit to certain people in the US government. But not to Guccifer.
In the United States, his punishment, should he ever get to that point, will likely be measured by a different yardstick because of "who" he hacked.
Among his most prominent victims were the AOL and Facebook accounts of former President George H W Bush and his son former President George W Bush.
Past American history has shown that anyone who commits a crime against a past or present President of the United States (POTUS) usually doesn't see the light of day for the rest of their natural life. Just look at the cases of the attempts on the lives of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Those people are still in prison and it's been more than 30 years.
Even though this was not an attempted assassination, it is a crime against not one, but two former POTUS (es) which exposed their personal contact information as well as private family photos and some confidential emails. Their details were the hacker's stepping stone to being able to get details about Hillary Clinton and others in the Obama Administration.
With no set plan of whom to target, his victim list changed as he uncovered new information in each newly hacked account. The fact that he hacked Hollywood stars and journalists seems to be a means to an end - either they had ties to the accounts he had hacked or he impersonated them while having control of their accounts to brag or push an agenda.
He was in regular communication with several media outlets, and one website in particular - The Smoking Gun - publicized his victories on their website, slightly more so than RT.com.
- Guccifer's purpose is puzzling, especially since he had no real interest in the people he hacked. As you will see further in this article, this writer speculates (as do some who commented on national news websites) that Guccifer was either a shill for the National Security Agency (NSA) used for his "talents," or he was indeed the NSA acting under the disguise of this well known hacker.
There is a shocker coming up in next section about the Google Drive. You're never going to believe it.
If you were a past or present President of the United States ....
And if your online accounts had been hacked, would you tell the public?
After learning their personal information (address, cellphone numbers, etc.), any family secrets and taking screenshots of embarrassing or compromising photographs, he uploaded them onto a hacked Google Drive that he named "jar 2." He then sent links to that drive to several media websites, to the victims he hacked and their list of contacts and friends so all could view his handiwork.
Are you ready for this?
Guccifer didn't take down Google Drive "jar 2" and neither did the US government. I wonder if it is because they can't crack the password. Hmm.
Maybe they need to hire a hacker. For how long Guccifer strung them along, it seems that hiring hackers might do a better job than they did.
At any rate, part of the hacked Google Drive is still intact, and here's the link so you can look at documents. It is safe to "look," but the links on the photos won't work because they are screenshots. Nothing is live.
Guccifer Email Of February 14, 2013
Per Guccifer: “I have some 40 high profile victims,” including politicians, show business figures, and diplomats."
Per The Smoking Gun:
One victim said Guccifer went through her IRA retirement account. When she checked with her financial institution, she learned her retirement account had been accessed from an IP address that tracked back to the Russian Federation. Hackers usually use proxy services to hide their location, but at the same time, it casts blame on someone else.
Here are some of his accomplishments - er, bad deeds.
Those Who Were Hacked By Guccifer (in no particular order)
Who They Are
President George H W Bush Sr's AOL account
Former President of US
President George W Bush Jr's AOL account
Former President of US
Dorothy Bush Koch
daughter of George H.W. Bush and sister of George W. Bush
82-year-old brother of Barbara Bush, wife of Bush Sr.
sister-in-law of the 41st president and mother of Access Hollywood host Billy Bush
Bush family friend
Bush family friend and former Miss Maine
CBS sportscaster, Bush family friend
Cantwell F. Muckenfuss III.
Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm
U.N. Under-Secretary-General Joseph Verner Reed
Ambassador to Morocco during the Reagan administration and was the White House Chief of Protocol for George H.W. Bush
Former Secretary of State
Former advisor & Senator in Romania (the only link to Romania in this whole list)
the script for the fourth-season finale of “Downton Abbey” (which the hacker swiped six months before the TV episode first aired in England)
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Ex-Secretary of the Air Force
Head of the National Nuclear Security Administration
Author, Sex and the City
Senator Lisa Murkowski
US Senator, Alaska
Hillary Clinton advisor
Former White House chief of staff
Entrepreneur at Silicon Valley Firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Fox News political analyst
Journalist who exposed Nixon via Watergate
creator "Downton Abbey"
British journalist for BBC
Director, Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Chairman of the National Intelligence Council
former FBI agent, one of only 2 women to be sworn in as an FBI agent, was an Army supervisor in Afghanistan, Top Secret clearanc
Two Comcast e-mail accounts of retired husband and wife FBI agents were hacked around December 2012
because they were friends with Susan Malone
Rex Evitts "unused" AOL account .
military contractor in Iraq; died age 68 of lung cancer December 2011
David Greenberg's Yahoo account ,
intelligence analyst at Lockheed Martin.Top Secret security clearance
former editor of The New Yorker magazine, Vanity Fair and website The Daily Beast
Air Force General Merrill McPeak
Colin Powell's friend
former Secret Service agent who heads the Rockefeller security team
two of the adult children of the late Laurance Rockefeller
former Deputy Secretary of State
Sir Francis Brooke
Investment Director at Troy Asset Management Limited in UK
Former UK Attorney General
Head of the Romanian Intelligence Service
MetLife chief executive
Former Secretary of the Air Force
Laura Manning Johnson
Department of Homeland Security official and former CIA analys
Numerous members of the Council on Foreign Relations
76-page Congressional Research Service report explores the Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
U.S. Code detailing the country’s extradition law and treaties
Emails TO Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
That's quite a list! It's almost as if he (or someone) were looking for something in particular ...
Three Days In Life Of A Hacker
The above list of names is only a partial list and doesn't do all of the victims justice. To show you how busy this guy was, here are the details of three days: March 11, 12, and 13, 2013:
- Hacked Colin Powell's AOL account, took the names of several of his friends in order to pose as them to make comments and status updates regarding the hacked photographs and emails.
- Hacked Romanian official, Corina Cretu's AOL account.
- Spread rumors of Powell having affair with Corina Cretu.
- Hacked an Air Force General's Facebook account in order to spread the Powell/Cretu rumor
- Hacked the accounts of two of the adult children of the late Laurance Rockefeller and Dennis Dwyer, a former Secret Service agent who is in charge of the Rockefeller security team.
- Hacked ex-CIA Director George Tenet's AOL account
- Hacked frmer Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's AOL account
- Hacked John Negroponte's Comcast account - former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Most of this was directed at Colin Powell. Guccifer was like a dog with a bone and continued to harass and embarrass him for months. At one point, when Colin Powell got back his AOL account and changed his password, Guccifer assumed control of John Negroponte's Comcast account.
As a show of proof, the hacker sent a screenshot of Negroponte's "Use & Preference" page which showed Negroponte's Washington DC home address.
Writing to The Smoking Gun, Guccifer said “it seems that mr powell regained his aol accounts back so we are goin to talk from john “hondurasbabykiller” ponte account.”
It's like it was all a game ... playing with people's livelihood and lives.
Not Worried About Getting Caught
In one correspondence when asked if he was worried about getting caught, Guccifer wrote:
“No, I am not concerned, but i think i switch the proxies now go to play some backgammon on yahoo watch tv, play with my family and daughter.”
The hacker said he was buying a “new powerful computer”
“Guccifer” closed that e-mail with The Smoking Gun with one word: “HAAAACKKKK!”
No, he wasn't too worried about getting caught.
Until someone brought it up.
December 17, 2013
Quoted from website: The Smoking Gun:
"In a December 17, 2013 email to The Smoking Gun, Guccifer said “the cia is for sure on my tail but you know they have all the time in the world.”
"He said he had been arrested in Paris in 2009 regarding "cyber issues" but also said "btw i am not french i just speak a half of dozen languages.”
In Case I Disappear ...
Evidently the reason Guccifer provided the cache of documents and photos to The Smoking Gun, RT.com (Russia Today), The Telegraph and other media was in case he should disappear, that there would be proof of his findings.
He wrote in a January 6, 2014 email:
“i don’t know what near future hold for me,”
"the documents are in case I disappear."
Knowing that federal agents were searching for him, he said jokingly that he:
"was having dreams in which a woman is steping up to me saying that she is from Federal Bureau and I am busted.” He added, “meanwhile me trying desperately to erase my files on my computer at my desk or on my smartphone which btw I don”t have because I can”t afford one.”
Guccifer Busted! January 22, 2014
United States Indictment
In a case of "You Snooze, You Lose," the United States government didn't summon a Grand Jury to file an indictment against Guccifer until June 12, 2014.
By then he had not only already been arrested by the Romanian government but sentenced to a four year prison term. In July, three more years were added.
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division indicted Marcel Lehel Lazar - aka Guccifer, et al - for the following:
- Wire fraud
- Unauthorized access to a protected computer
- Aggravated identity theft
- Obstruction of Justice
- Notice of Forfeiture - in the event of conviction, he will have to forfeit all his personal assets and property to the US government
Unless they succeed in his extradition from Romania, the US will lose their chance to prosecute him.
I find it awfully convenient (and hesitate to say there might have been collusion on the Romanian side of the investigation) that Romania arrested and imprisoned Guccifer before the US could even name him in their indictment.
Let's see how long it takes for this to blow over, for the media (and government) to forget his name, then forget to extradite him to the US.
According to the comments on The Smoking Gun website, CNN, RT.com and NDTV, many people believe that Guccifer was doing his hacking work for the NSA because none of his findings would be especially interesting to a Romanian who had very little, if any, ties to the United States.
This hacker should have been caught sooner, no matter how many proxy servers he used, because of his constant contact with the owners of the hacked accounts as well as media and government agencies.
Because he was in constant communication with The Smoking Gun and RT.com, why couldn't the FBI, the NSA and other agencies use The Smoking Gun or RT.com to trap him sooner? Guccifer was allowed to wreak havoc on the lives of so many people - mostly having to do with political families - and all the King's men and all the King's horses couldn't put a stop to it?
Since Guccifer was never apprehended in the USA and is now serving time in a Romanian prison, it is doubtful he will face extradition any time soon.
But even with extradition to the US, it is this writer's opinion that if this guy "talked" and said who hired him - if anyone - he will never make it to a trial.
And if that happens, it will prove there was collusion somewhere in this whole fiasco.
Some commenters on media websites think that Guccifer was secretly working for NSA (National Security Agency) to do their hacking for them.
Do you agree with the above statement?
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NDTV, The Smoking Gun, RT.com, CNN, IMDb.com
Do Not Copy
© Rachael O'Halloran, September 2014
© 2014 Rachael O'Halloran