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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 11 August 2022

Romanian hacker who exposed Clinton's email server jailed for four years

Marcel Lehel Lazar also hacked a relative of George W Bush.

Image: Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

A ROMANIAN HACKER who went by the online moniker Guccifer has received four years and four months in prison for releasing private emails, medical data and financial information from senior political figures, including Hillary Clinton.

US District Judge James Cacheris sentenced Marcel Lehel Lazar (44) in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside the US capital Washington.

He pleaded guilty in May after being extradited from Romania, where he was serving a seven-year sentence for prior hacks.

Lazar had claimed to have hacked into the email account of Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, herself under fire for her use of a private email server during her stint as secretary of state.

FBI chief James Comey denied Lazar had been successful, but he was in fact able to hack into the emails of longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

In all, Lazar has admitted gaining unauthorised access to the personal email and social media accounts of about 100 Americans from at least October 2012 to January 2014, including a relative of former president George W Bush.

He notably intercepted photographs Bush had sent to his sister showing several artworks he had painted, including a self-portrait of himself taking a shower.

‘Sending a message’ 

Wearing a green prison jumpsuit, Lazar was emotionless as his sentence was pronounced.

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hack Guccifer Source: Screengrab/NBC

“Send a message that computer hacking is a serious offence,” prosecutor Maya Song had asked the judge just before sentencing.

He has not at one time expressed sorrow.

Defence attorney Shannon Quill said Lazar would soon be sent to Romania to serve his sentence there before being extradited once more to the United States to serve his long sentence here.

Guccifer was arrested in January 2014 in Romania, in collaboration with the United States.

In Romania, he was found guilty of hacking into the email accounts of a number of public figures, including the head of domestic intelligence.

© AFP 2016

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