Romanian indicted for assault on US computers

White Hat Team chief not only hacked high-security machines, he flaunted his prowess with messages to government employees. NASA suffered over $1 million in losses.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on
As if trying to prove a point, a Romanian man was indicted for allegedly breaking into more than 150 U.S. government computers, reports News.com.

Victor Faur, 26, of Arad, Romania, was the leader of a group know as the "WhiteHat Team," which allegedly chose the U.S. government systems to hack into because of their reputation as some of the most secure in the world.

"After hacking into and taking control of the government computers, Faur allegedly caused the compromised machines to display screens that flaunted the computer intrusion," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The breach occurred at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Goddard Space Flight Center, the Sandia National Laboratory, and the U.S. Naval Observatory, according to prosecutors.

The breached computers were used to collect and process data from spacecraft. Due to the breach, scientists had to rebuild systems and manually communicate with spacecraft, resulting in $1.36 million in losses for NASA and nearly $100,000 in losses for the Energy Department and the Navy, prosecutors said.

The most most likely prosecution scenario for Faur, who is being charged with conspiracy and nine counts of computer intrusion, is extradition, which can take up to two years. Faur was arrested in Romania and released on on separate, Romanian charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hoffstadt said in an interview.

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