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The hacker known as Guccifer – but better known for exposing Hillary Clinton’s private email server – was sentenced today by a U.S. court to four years and four months in jail.
Federal District Court Judge James Cacheris passed down the sentencing in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday morning, along with a stern admonishment that recent cyber attacks [by Russians targeting the U.S. presidential election] are an example of how hackers are trying to influence "the very machinery of our democracy."
Guccifer, aka 44-year-old Romanian cab driver Marcel Lazar, had been extradited from his homeland in March to face a U.S. grand jury. Lazar pleaded guilty earlier this year to two of the nine charges — aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a protected computer.
Today's sentences of 24 months and 28 months for those charges are to be served consecutively, and will be followed by a three-year term of supervised release.
The charges stem from what the U.S. government described as a “computer hacking spree” during 2012-2014 that included targets such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton aide.
In total, Lazar breached the email and social media accounts of over 100 Americans and made much of those findings public, revealing the clintonemail.com domain name – which ultimately led to an FBI investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information.
The Romanian hacker first rose to prominence in the U.S. after he hacked into email accounts belonging to George W. Bush and made public some of the former president’s own paintings, including bath-time self-portraits.
Because of his AOL-heavy cyberattacks, Lazar was sentenced in Virginia, where internet service provider AOL is based.
Following his four years in U.S. jail, Lazar must still complete a seven-year sentence in Romania.