The Associated Press
December 1, 2006
A Romanian national was indicted on charges of hacking into more than
150 U.S. government computers, causing disruptions that cost NASA, the
Energy Department and the navy nearly $1.5 million US.
The federal indictment charges Victor Faur, 26, of Arad, Romania, with
nine counts of computer intrusion and one count of conspiracy.
He faces up to 54 years in prison if convicted on all counts, said Thom
Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Faur was being prosecuted by authorities in Romania on separate computer
hacking charges, Mrozek said Thursday, and will be brought to Los
Angeles upon resolution of that case. It was not known whether Faur had
retained a lawyer in the United States.
The U.S. government alleges Faur was the leader of a hacking group
called "WhiteHat Team," whose main goal was to break into U.S.
government computers because they are some of the most secure in the
After hacking into and taking control of the computers, Faur programmed
them to operate as chat rooms so he could communicate with other
WhiteHat members, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hoffstadt said.
During the break-ins, Faur searched for passwords that WhiteHat members
could use to gain unauthorized access to other computers, Hoffstadt
The compromised computers were used to collect, store and analyze
scientific data including data from spacecraft in orbit and deep space
and to evaluate new technologies.
The machines were located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena;
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Sandia National
Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.; and the U.S. Naval Observatory in
Copyright - The Canadian Press, 2006
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