Guccifer

guccifer

Marcel Lazăr Lehel (b. 1974) is a Romanian hacker known as Guccifer, who was responsible for a number of high-level security breaches involving both current and former members of the United States government. He was arrested in early 2014 by Romanian authorities. The hacker first appeared in news media in 2013 after ‘The Smoking Gun’ reported he was responsible for hacking the AOL account of Dorothy Bush Koch, sister of former president George W. Bush.

Family photos of former president George H. W. Bush, who was in the hospital at the time, were circulated to the internet. He also circulated a self-portrait painted by George W. Bush, depicting the former president taking a shower. Guccifer went on to hack a number of AOL, Yahoo, Flickr and Facebook accounts, giving him access to information about current and former high-level government officials.

Guccifer later hacked Colin Powell’s website and accessed years worth of his correspondence from another AOL account. The correspondence included personal financial information as well as e-mails to George Tenet, Richard Armitage, and John Negroponte. He also targeted U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a senior UN Official, members of the Rockefeller family, former FBI and Secret Service agents, as well as the brother of Barbara Bush, CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, and former Miss Maine Patricia Legere.

In March of 2013, ‘USA Today’ reported that Guccifer had successfully hacked the e-mail account of former aide to president Bill Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal. He distributed private memos sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton involving recent events in Libya, including the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack. Before distributing the memos, he copied and pasted the text into his own new documents, then reformatted them with pink backgrounds and comic sans font. The hacker’s IP address was traced to Russia, however there was no certainty as to whether this was his actual location or whether he had used a proxy.

In early May 2013, Guccifer hacked into online accounts owned by two members of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as accounts owned by economist Adam Posen and his wife and another owned by a former Federal Reserve Board official. Also in May, Guccifer hacked the Twitter feed and e-mail account of ‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell. Bushnell spent several hours fighting for control of the accounts, while Guccifer publicly posted portions of an unpublished manuscript to her Twitter feed. Guccifer sent an e-mail to TSG claiming responsibility for the hack using the AOL account of actor Rupert Everett.

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