News 08 Jan 14

Hacker Cracks Into Romanian Spy Chief's Emails

An unknown hacker called Guccifer, who previously targeted Colin Powell, has broken into a personal account of the boss of Romania's intelligence agency.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest

A hacker nicknamed "Guccifer" has broken into the email account of George Maior, head of the Romanian Intelligence Service, SRI, and changed the password, according to reports.

An SRI spokeperson on Tuesday said the hacked account was one of Maior’s old private accounts, which he used before becoming director of the intelligence agency. Maior had apparently only used it for academic purposes, as he also teaches law.

"We will take any legal measure that is needed and are confident that the hacker will be caught and tried,” the SRI representative added.

Maior is not the first Romanian official targeted by Guccifer. Last August, he revealed details of an alleged extramarital affair between former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Corina Cretu, a Romanian member of the European Parliament.

Accordind to emails published at the time, Cretu wrote to Powell in 2010 – 2011 describing him as the love of her life. “I’ve loved you too much, too many years. YOU were my greatest love of my life,” Cretu emailed Powell in 2011.

Powell denied the affair, saying that he had always been faithful to his wife of 50 years.

Romania has become a hotspot for computer hackers over the last decade, but most of the actions are related to auction fraud on the internet.

A classic scam is the "second chance auction" in which fraudsters contact the user of an auction website who has just missed out on an item, offering them another chance to buy the item outside the rules.

The scammers persuade their victims to purchase fictitious items and use payment methods that do not allow them to recover the money. Other frauds include hacking into auctioners' accounts and stealing an identity to make fake offers.

The fraudsters have deceived thousands of victims. Auction fraud is the most prevalent internet crime associated with Romania. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, ranks Romania fifth in its table of nations.

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