Romanian hacker ‘Guccifer’ claims to have hacked Clinton server
Romanian hacker ‘Guccifer’ claims he gained access to the former Secretary of State’s private email. Marcel Lehel Lazar who uses the handle Guccifer says there were hundreds of folders. Lazar was extradited last month from Romania to the United States to face charges he hacked political elites, including Gen. Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family, and former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal.
Guccifer’s potential role in the Clinton email investigation was first reported by Fox News last month. The hacker subsequently claimed he was able to access the server – and provided extensive details about how he did it and what he found – over the course of a half-hour jailhouse interview and a series of recorded phone calls with Fox News.
The former secretary of state’s server held nearly 2,200 emails containing information now deemed classified, and another 22 at the “Top Secret” level. The 44-year-old Lazar said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clinton’s server “like twice,” though he described the contents as “not interest[ing]” to him at the time. Lazar said he did extensive research on the web and then guessed Blumenthal’s security question. Once inside Blumenthal’s account, Lazar said he saw dozens of messages from the Clinton email address. The Clinton campaign released a statement in response to Lazar’s recent claims.
There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell. In addition to the fact he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton’s server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.”
Former State Department IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who installed and maintained the server, has been granted immunity by the Department of Justice and is cooperating with the FBI in its ongoing criminal investigation into Clinton’s use of the private server. An intelligence source told Fox News last month that Lazar also could help the FBI make the case that Clinton’s email server may have been compromised by a third party.
Three computer security specialists, including two former senior intelligence officials, said the process described is plausible and the Clinton server, now in FBI custody, may have an electronic record that would confirm or disprove Guccifer’s claims. Lazar faces trial Sept. 12 in the Eastern District of Virginia. He has pleaded not guilty to a nine-count federal indictment for his alleged hacking crimes in the U.S. Victims are not named in the indictment but reportedly include Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family and others including Blumenthal. In early April, at the time of Lazar’s extradition from a Romanian prison where he already was serving a seven-year sentence for cyber-crimes, a former senior FBI official said the timing was striking.