Guccifer, the Romanian hacker whose shenanigans exposed the existence of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, has been launched this week from a Romanian prison and may now be extradited to the US to serve a 52-month prison sentence for hacking a number of US authorities officers between 2012 and 2014.
The 46-year-old hacker, actual title Marcel Lazăr Lehel, was let out this week after a Romanian courtroom authorized his launch on parole.
Lehel had been serving a seven-year prison sentence handed down by Romanian authorities after he hacked the email accounts of Romanian starlets (initially suspended three-year prison sentence handed down in 2011) and Romanian authorities officers (four-year prison sentence handed down in 2014).
In 2016, two years after he obtained his second prison sentence in Romania, Lehel was extradited to the US to face prices for hacking a number of present and former US authorities officers.
Noticeable victims included former Secretary of State Colin Powell in addition to former President George W. Bush. Lehel would usually leak the content material of hacked email accounts in makes an attempt to embarrass the victims. He’s notorious for releasing a self-portrait President Bush painted of himself in a bath.
But whereas not probably the most high-profile intrusion, the hack with probably the most wide-reaching results occurred in March 2013, when he gained entry to the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to former president Bill Clinton.
Lehel launched email conversations from Blumenthal’s account, together with private memos Blumenthal despatched to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Many memos revealed behind-the-scenes info relating to the Libyan disaster and Al-Qaeda and September 11, 2012, terrorist assault on a US embassy in Benghazi.
The leaked memos revealed the existence of a private email server operated by the Clinton household at clintonemail.com, which Hillary Clinton had used for official authorities communications. A political whirlwind adopted this revelation, and the Clinton private email scandal ended up damaging Hillary Clinton’s upcoming 2016 US presidential marketing campaign, many arguing it was one of many primary causes she misplaced to Donald Trump.
Lehel was sentenced for the above hacks of US officers to 52 months in a US prison in September 2016. But as a part of the extradition accord signed with Romanian authorities, Lehel was despatched again to Romania to complete the remainder of his Romanian prison sentence.
In each 2017 and 2018, Lehel expressed his want to serve the US sentence in a Romanian jail and filed a authorized case to stop his second extradition to the US.
In September 2018, an appeals courtroom in Alba Iulia, Romania, dominated in favor of his second extradition. The courtroom dominated for Lehel’s speedy extradition both when he completed his seven-year sentence, or each time he’d be launched on parole.
After being let out this week, Lehel is now eligible for the second extradition.
Spokespersons for the Romanian Ministry of Justice and the Alba Iulia Appeals Court didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the precise date of Lehel’s second extradition.
Lehel’s notorious hacking spree lasted from 2010 to early 2014 and included over 100 victims throughout Romania and the US. Lehel wasn’t a educated IT skilled, working as a taxi driver on the time of his arrest.
Lehel’s nickname of Guccifer was the inspiration for Guccifer 2.0, a codename utilized by a Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) operative to unfold stolen paperwork obtained from hacking the Democratic National Committee server in 2016.
Ironically, Guccifer 2.0 tried to go as a Romanian hacker, whereas preliminary forensic information pegged Guccifer as Russian based mostly on IP addresses discovered within the logs of hacked email accounts.
US authorities charged 12 Russian nationals this summer season for the DNC hacks and for working the Guccifer 2.0 hacker persona.
Updated on November 12: A spokesperson for the Alba Iulia Appeals Court has replied to ZDNet’s request for remark and confirmed that Lehel has been handed over to Europol for extradition to the US on November 2. He’s anticipated to start out his US prison sentence this week.