Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel, also known by his hacker handle “Guccifer” is being extradited to the United States to face charges of computer intrusion and identity theft following several hacking incidents of former and current leaders and celebrities.
42-year old Romanian hacker Lehel, best known for hacking sprees that involved hacking and publishing artwork and emails belonging to former US President George W. Bush and the emails of several celebrities including Steve Martin and Leonardo di Caprio is now facing trial in the US following Romania’s approval for his extradition.
Speaking to Reuters, a Romanian source said:
The [top court of Romania] approved an 18-month temporary extradition to America for the hacker. This follows a request by U.S. authorities.
Notably, “Guccifer” was also the original source who discovered Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account whilst the current Democratic Presidential hopeful was the then Secretary of State.
Lehel was charged by the US Department of Justice in 2014 on charges of unauthorized access to a protected computer, cyberstalking, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
“Guccifer” was also sentenced to four years in jail by a Romanian court in 2014 for seeking to acquire confidential data by illegally accessing email accounts of public figures in Romania. The hacker is also serving another three-year prison term for a string of other offences.
Through a mix of open source intelligence gathering and a knack for social engineering, Lehel was able to gain access to multiple email accounts.
Lehel only began hacking in his mid-30s as an unemployed taxi driver and a part-time paint salesman. According to reports, Lehel was a misfit, understandably intelligent with his hacking prowess and one who, prosecutors claimed, was seeking fame. “Guccifer” was also reportedly interested in the occult and was actively interested in targeting US officials to in order to establish links with the Illuminati.
The hacker’s incursion leading to the most serious repercussions was that of the email account belonging to Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton family’s confidant. When in control of the account, the hacker copied several emails which contained detailed memos of correspondence with Hillary Clinton. These emails contained elaborate information about international affairs that caused a storm in the United States when it was revealed that Hillary Clinton was using her personal email instead of her government address.
In a telephone interview with The Smoking Gun in February this year, Guccifer claimed he welcomed his extradition.
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