Romanian law enforcement authorities have arrested a man they believe is “Guccifer,” the hacker who broke into email accounts of high-profile individuals, such as George W. Bush. Guccifer leaked several of the former president’s self-portraits last year.
Marcel Lazar Lehel, a 40-year old Romanian male living in the city of Arad, was arrested after authorities searched his home, according to a translated news report from Romanian news agency Mediafax. The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism said Lehel allegedly “accessed repeatedly and against the law, in violation of security measures, e-mail accounts belonging to public figures in Romania, in order to take possession of confidential data in email,” according to the Mediafax report. The information was leaked in an attempt to ruin the victims’ reputations.
Lehel also allegedly locked users out of their accounts by changing the passwords.
In Romania, Guccifer was behind the attacks on Corina Cetu, a Romanian politician, and George Major, the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service. Guccifer is also linked to attacks against high-profile individuals from the United States, including various members of the Bush family, comedian Steve Martin, former Air Force secretary George Roche, Colin Powell, members of the Rockefeller family, and members of the Council on Foreign Relations.
It’s not yet known whether the U.S. will seek extradition.
It appears Lehel had been arrested back in August 2011 when he was operating under the name “Little Smoke” to hacking into email and Facebook accounts of various Romanian political figures, athletes, and entertainers. Lehel had been sentenced to three years of supervised release in February 2012.
Fahmida Y. Rashid is an accomplished security journalist and technologist. She is a regular contributor for several publications including iPCMag.com where she is a networking and security analyst. She also was a senior writer at eWeek where she covered security, core Internet infrastructure and open source. As well, she was a senior technical editor at CRN Test Center reviewing open source, storage, and networking products.