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Romanian cops cuff suspected serial hacker TinKode

Alleged Royal Navy, Pentagon invader gets keelhauled

Romanian police have arrested a man suspected of breaking into the websites of NASA and the Pentagon in a series of high-profile hack attacks.

Razvan Manole Cernaianu, 20, from Timisoara, is accused of publishing details of the SQL injection vulnerabilities discovered on the targeted websites under the hacker handle TinKode. The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) further alleges that Cernaianu, an IT student, sold hacking tools from his personal site.

TinKode bragged about breaking into the Royal Navy's official website in November 2010 and making off with site passwords. Other attacks claimed by TinKode include breaking into the MySQL site (using a SQL injection vulnerability) and the European Space Agency. These alleged targets fail to appear on the rap sheet, which concentrates on the NASA hack and an assault of US Army systems that allegedly resulted in the extraction of confidential data.

Investigating officers from the FBI and NASA took part in the investigation that led to Cernaianu's arrest.

The motive for all the attacks was all about claiming high-profile scalps, obtaining bragging rights in the process, plus a heady mix of intellectual curiosity and pure devilment, rather than any form of money-making scam.

A statement by Romanian police on the case can be found here. Security commentary on the arrest can be found in a post on Sophos's Naked Security blog here. ®

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