Guccifer Caught (and Germany/Snowden stuff)

As he feared, Guccifer has been arrested. It appears the famous hacker was a 40 year old Romanian man.

Why was he arrested only now, after such a long string of high profile hacks? Well, he’d been arrested before, in 2011.

But rather than having stumbled onto something “too hot” — one other Romanian hacker reported finding evidence in Guccifer’s archive of Snowden’s work, prior to Snowden going public — it seems the cause may have been more mundane.

It seems like Guccifer may have gone after the wrong guy.

Earlier this month Guccifer hacked the email account of the chief of the Romanian Intelligence Service SRI. While it was a long-disused account with nothing of importance, the audacity of the move caused the intelligence agency to express (on Jan 7th, about 2 weeks ago) their confidence that Guccifer would be brought to justice.*

It seems they made good on their promise.

Cryptome has linked to a posted file purporting to be Guccifer’s 7GB archive of dirt. It’s hosted on Google, so I for one will not be downloading a copy, but here’s the link anyway:


Them’s fightin’ words: a German law professor explains that, if the German government fails to act to protect the rights of citizens against NSA spying, German law makes it legal for citizens to act in self-defense.[1]

Here’s what happened last time this “principle” was applied, almost exactly 24 years ago (January 15, 1990)… the good bits start 5 minutes or so in. [2] Note the Spiegel journalist (never shown) interviewing the Stasi man halfway through is none other than Georg Mascolo, who met Snowden in Moscow — for those of you that speak German, the interview is well worth watching, by the way, along with the other interviews there.

(Psychologically, the employees almost all had been there 20 years or more, and now their world was collapsing. “How do you deal with the feeling that many people hate you simply because you worked for the Stasi?” — question posed near the end to a guy whose career was running the telephone switches. Another employee later expresses his belief that all his work was honest and his conscience is clear!)

Also, 45 minutes through you can see the internal measurement (TSCM?) station for the Stasi’s private telephone network, followed by the wiring rooms for the same. For the phone phraks, at 51 minutes you see the digital switching gear they used (“not the most modern, that stuff’s embargoed” is the quote).

[1] (Translate it yourself)


Live Q&A with Edward Snowden tomorrow. 8pm GST, 3pm EST. Submit questions via Twitter using the hashtag #asksnowden.

Snowden may have an honorary doctorate in the next 3 months: after some 600 students filled a lecture hall nominally meant to hold 500 for a debate on whether the University of Rostock (Germany) should award him the title, it was clear the sentiment was overwhelmingly on the whistleblower’s side. On April 9 the relevant committee will make an official decision, but after this kind of sentiment the result is fairly clear. Fun fact: the philosophy department (which would be awarding him the title) is housed in a former Stasi building!

“A Romanian man suspected of being the notorious hacker Guccifer has been arrested on Wednesday by Romanian authorities. The 40-year-old had already been sentenced to three years of supervised release in February 2012 for similar crimes.

According to Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), Marcel Lazăr Lehel’s home in Arad county has been searched.

Authorities suspect that the man “accessed, repeatedly and without authorization, by bypassing security measures, email accounts belonging to public figures from Romania, with the purpose of gaining possession of confidential information found in their electronic mailboxes.”

The Romanian public figures that DIICOT is referring to are politician Corina Cretu, whom the hacker accused of having an affair with former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, and George Maior, the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

Shortly after Maior’s email account was hacked, SRI representatives noted that they were confident the hacker would be caught. If Lehel is in fact Guccifer, they knew what they were talking about.”

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