TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Romanian Hacked US Computers, Now Indicted

Romanian Hacked US Computers, Now Indicted

Associated Press News Wire (
Fri, 01 Dec 2006 10:35:01 -0600

A Romanian national was indicted on charges of hacking into more than
150 U.S. government computers, causing disruptions that cost NASA, the
Energy Department and the Navy nearly $1.5 million.

The federal indictment charges Victor Faur, 26, of Arad, Romania with
nine counts of computer intrusion and one count of conspiracy. He
faces up to 54 years in prison if convicted of all counts, said Thom
Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Faur was being prosecuted by authorities in Romania on separate
computer hacking charges, Mrozek said Thursday, and will be brought to
Los Angeles upon resolution of that case. It was not known whether
Faur had retained a lawyer in the United States.

The U.S. government alleges Faur was the leader of a hacking group
called "WhiteHat Team," whose main goal was to break into U.S.
government computers because they are some of the securest in the

After hacking into and taking control of the computers, Faur
programmed them to operate as chat rooms so he could communicate with
other WhiteHat members, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hoffstadt said.

During the break-ins, Faur searched for passwords that WhiteHat
members could use to gain unauthorized access to other computers,
Hoffstadt said.

The compromised computers were used to collect, store and analyze
scientific data -- including data from spacecraft in orbit and deep
space -- and to evaluate new technologies. The machines were located
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena; Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque,
N.M.; and the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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