Feds Indict "Guccifer" For Bush E-Mail Hacking, Cyberstalking Of Colin Powell
Federal prosecutors today announced the indictment of the hacker “Guccifer” for illegally breaching the e-mail accounts of former President George W. Bush’s sister, ex-Clinton White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whom the hacker is also accused of cyberstalking.
Marcel Lehel Lazar, 42, is named in a nine-count indictment charging him with computer hacking, wire fraud, identity theft, and other felonies. Lazar, a Romanian citizen, was sentenced this week in his home country to four years in jail for hacking the e-mail accounts of several public figures.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the Lazar indictment.
While the Lazar indictment--which was filed in federal court in Virginia--does not name the five victims cited in its pages, these individuals are easily identified. “Victim 1” is Dorothy Bush, sister of the 43rd president (and daughter of George H.W. Bush). Prosecutors allege that Lazar broke into Bush’s AOL account and pilfered a wide range of confidential material.
Lazar is also charged with breaking into Powell’s AOL and Facebook accounts. While in control of Powell’s Facebook account, Lazar allegedly posted public messages like “You will burn in hell, Bush!” and “Kill the illuminati!” As with the Bush hack, Lazar sought to conceal his identity and location by using proxy servers in Russia, prosecutors contend.
Powell, identified as “Victim 3” in the indictment, was a favorite “Guccifer” target. After breaking into Powell’s e-mail, the hacker illegally accessed the Yahoo account of Corina Cretu, a Romanian politician with whom Powell exchanged personal photos and correspondence. After “Guccifer” stole these intimate exchanges, Powell issued a statement denying that he had an affair with Cretu, who is now a member of the European Parliament. Cretu is identified as “Witness 1” in the indictment.
The indictment also alleges that Lazar illegally accessed the AOL e-mail account of Blumenthal (“Victim 5”), a former aide to President Bill Clinton, as well as the Gmail and Facebook accounts of Merrill McPeak (“Victim 3”), a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. McPeak, now retired, once served as Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force.
The fifth victim mentioned in the indictment is described as a “sanitation engineer” whose e-mail account was allegedly hacked by Lazar, who used the compromised account to distribute material stolen from Blumenthal’s AOL account.
Lazar has also been accused of cyberstalking Powell, illegal activity intended to cause “substantial emotional distress” to the former Bush Cabinet member and his immediate family, prosecutors allege.