Feeds

US Navy hacker avoids Romanian jail

Sharp contrast with McKinnon extradition saga

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A Romanian hacker who broke into systems run by the US Navy, NASA and the Department of Energy has avoided a custodial sentence in a trial at home but may still face extradition to the US.

Victor Faur, 28, was convicted of hacking into US government systems between November 2005 and September 2006. He received a 16-month suspended prison sentence along with a heavy fine of $238,000 at a sentencing hearing on Monday.

During the trial, which lasted 10 months, Faur attempted to argue he was doing the US military a favour by exposing flaws in vulnerable systems, AP reports.

His lawyer, Sorin Bretotianu, said that Faur is considering an appeal against the Romanian charges, which could have led to a maximum of 12 years behind bars.

US prosecutors alleged that Faur was the leader of a hacking crew called the WhiteHat Team, who reportedly competed with each other to break into US government systems. Faur was indicted in the US on nine counts of hacking and one of conspiracy in 2006. At the time US authorities said they would seek the extradition of Faur to the US after the completion of a trial in his native Romania.

The case contrasts with that of accused British hacker Gary McKinnon. Faur, like McKinnon, broke into US government systems, though McKinnon admitted wrongdoing whereas Faur has strenuously contested the charges against him.

US authorities allowed Faur to be tried in his native Romania, while McKinnon received no such latitude.

McKinnon was first arrested by officers from the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in 2002. UK charges were never filed and the case lay dormant for three years until US authorities started extradition proceedings in 2005, soon after a the UK passed a controversial one-way extradition treaty with the US.

Supporters of McKinnon have campaigned vigorously to get a UK trial for McKinnon ever since, without success. It's tempting to think previous prosecution failures to secure a conviction of suspects accused of hacking US systems in UK courts (examples here and here) have influenced the US government's handling of the McKinnon case. It's either that or the desire to make an example of McKinnon.

If nothing else the Faur case provides evidence that US military systems were open to exploit long after the security theatre that accompanied McKinnon's initial 2002 arrest, during which US prosecutors described his actions as the "biggest military hack of all time". ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.