Feeds

Romanian police arrest Pentagon hack suspect

'Wolfenstein' cuffed

Website security in corporate America

Romanian police have arrested a hacker suspected of breaking into Pentagon systems and planting malware.

Eduard Lucian Mandru, 23, a business studies student from Iasi, Romania, is suspected of breaking into US Department of Defense systems in 2006. A criminal hacker nicknamed "Wolfenstein" accessed sensitive systems at that time, using compromised servers located in Japan in a bid to cover his tracks.

The cracker infected an unspecified number of systems with an unidentified information-stealing trojan before deleting access logs, Softpedia reports. US authorities say that damages in sorting out the resulting mess came to over $35,000.

One of the few leads investigators had to go on was a Yahoo email address - wolfenstein_ingrid@yahoo.com - linked to the attack. Mandru recently posted his CV on job-seeking websites giving this Yahoo address as his email contact, a blunder that reportedly put investigators on his trail. Police raided Mandru's home, seized computer equipment and took him into custody on Wednesday.

If found guilty of computer hacking offences, Mandru faces a prison term of between three and 12 years.

Victor Faur, AKA SirVic, another Romanian hacker alleged to have broken into US military systems, received a suspended prison sentence of 16 months. At the time of his arrest, the US-Romania extradition agreement then in force omitted hacking offences. A revamped extradition treaty does include hacking offences, making Mandru a possible candidate for extradition.

It's unclear if US authorities will take this option.

Although the apparent blunder that put investigators onto Mandru trail appears dumb, cybercrooks often make such mistakes.

"Hackers who deface police and military websites often leave email addresses," explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. Jeffrey Lee Parson, convicted author of a variant of the infamous Blaster worm, coded the malware to phone home for updates from a website he owned. He also wrote his online nickname (teekid) into the fabric of Blaster-B, Cluley added. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.