Marcel Lehel Lazar, the hacker better known as “Guccifer,” was sentenced in a Virginia federal court Thursday to 52 months in prison. He pleaded guilty in May to charges related to hacking a variety of political figures and celebrities.Lazar targeted email accounts and websites belonging to Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal; former secretary of State Colin Powel; and former President George W. Bush’s sister, Dorothy Bush Koch.
He also targeted sportscaster Jim Nantz and “Sex in the City” author Candace Bushnell.
Lazar is not to be confused with “Guccifer 2.0,” the hacker or hackers who have leaked documents and emails from the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Lazar, a Romanian national, used emails obtained through hacking to feed online conspiracy theories concerning the Illuminati.
Recently, Lazar claimed to have hacked the private email server Clinton used when she was secretary of State.
As The New York Times has noted, Lazar was not a computer expert. He operated on a cheap laptop and a cellphone, and used tools readily available on the web. Many of his “hacks” were the result of social engineering skill and months of guessing security questions until he got in.
“He was not really a hacker but just a smart guy who was very patient and persistent,” Viorel Badea, the Romanian prosecutor who directed the case against him, told The Times.
He claimed in May that he accessed Clinton’s private email server twice — a charge the Clinton campaign has denied and that has not been verified by the FBI, which investigated the use of the server — but found the contents “not interesting” at the time.