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Prosecutors Charge Romanian Hacker for Violating NASA Computer Security

An IT graduate from Romania had to face the court on June 26, 2007 because he had allegedly breached into U.S. computer systems including some of NASA's.

State prosecutors dealing specially with cases of organized crime delineated the lawsuit against Victor Faur, 22 and son of a doctor. Faur hails from Arad, a town in western Romania where the first hearing of the case will take place.

Romanian police informed U.S. space agency NASA in July 2006 that some unknown people in Romania had intruded its servers. As a result NASA was forced to reconstruct its systems. And its scientists and engineers could communicate with spacecraft only by manual means. All this resulted in immense loss for NASA.

Faur faces a prison term for a maximum period of 12 years for having infringed upon security laws. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities as well as NASA are asking for 2 million dollars in damages related to expenses for updating software after the hacking attack.

State prosecutors said that Faur had committed unlawful access from November 2005 to September 2006, on servers belonging to NASA, the U.S. Navy, The U.S. Energy Ministry, and also the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Goddard Space Flight Center. Faur's operations in these systems included changing data, downloading programs, and installing IRC (Internet Relay Chat) communication channels so as to get more access to other information networks.

However, Faur claimed that he neither altered nor deleted files, nor had he disrupted the communications systems. In December 2006, a formal investigation was started on Faur and since then he has not been allowed to leave the country, as reported by The Times of India on June 27, 2007.

Several times Faur said he was not part of any organized group. He said he hacked the system at NSA only to point out its vulnerability. He said it was all a game and that he never intended to harm anyone, as per the news reported by M&C on June 26, 2007.

An earlier legal accusation on Faur by the U.S. Attorney's Office said he led a hacking team called the 'WhiteHat Team', which invaded the systems because they were thought to possess the world's most secured systems.

Related article: Process Injection, Simpler & Stealthier than Rootkit

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