Hacktivist Guccifer strikes, Hammond pleads guilty

Hacktivist Guccifer strikes, Hammond pleads guilty

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 1, 2013 — The hacker “Guccifer” who gained fame for targeting former President George W. Bush and former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell announced via The Smoking Gun last week that he has now hacked the email account of National Intelligence Council Chairman Christopher Kojm.

Guccifer, who struck fear in the hearts of politicians after accessing high-level email accounts, briefly detoured into attacks on Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell and famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, granting a reprieve to political elites.

However, on May 28, he sent screen-shots of Kojm’s personal email account to The Smoking Gun, one of the publications Guccifer uses to announce his hacking victories.

The screen shots of Kojm’s msn.com email account suggests Guccifer accessed it within the last week.

According to the web site for The National Intelligence Council, or NIC:

The National Intelligence Council supports the Director of National Intelligence in his role as head of the Intelligence Community (IC) and is the IC’s center for long-term strategic analysis.

Since its establishment in 1979, the NIC has served as a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities, a source of deep substantive expertise on intelligence issues, and a facilitator of Intelligence Community collaboration and outreach.

Much of the work of the NIC is classified.

Before working for the NIC, Kojm was a congressional staffer. He was a senior adviser to the Iraq Study Group, executive director of the 9/11 Commission and a member of President Obama’s transition team focusing on national security.

By hacking the email account, Guccifer accessed Kojm’s personal emails, banking information, discussions with 9/11 Commission members and material from the 2008 Obama transition.

Information provided by Guccifer to The Smoking Gun does not include classified information from the NIC.

Earlier this month, Guccifer targeted Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Joshua Gotbaum. The Corporation oversees $85 billion in assets which guarantees the pensions of more than 40 million people.

True to form, Guccifer included a narrative along with the revelation of his latest hack. TSG described the accompanying note as “lengthy” and “rambling.” In it, Guccifer calls President Obama “The Black Angel.” He also taunts law enforcement, specifically the Secret Service, which is attempting to identify and capture him. He ends his note saying, “Good night America where ever you are.”

In previous notes accompanying hacks, Guccifer has talked about Illuminati conspiracies and made anti-Semitic statements.

Guccifer’s somewhat random attacks with no apparent goal other than notoriety contrast starkly with hactivism by high-profile groups such as Anonymous.

Earlier this week, hacktivist Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty to hacking the servers of private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. The attack compromised 60,000 credit card numbers and accessed 5 million email messages, many of which have since appeared on Wikileaks.

In his press release, Hammond said, “Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”

Under the terms of his plea agreement, he now faces up to 10 years in prison and restitution of up to $2.5 million. He is currently detained at a federal detention center in New York, where he has resided since his arrest last March.

Hammond, along with several fellow hackers, were caught after Hector Xavier Monsegur, leader of a hacking team, became an FBI informer.

His sentencing is set for September 6.

Hacktivists like Hammond say they access computers and computer networks to promote their political beliefs. They generally advocate free speech, free information, human rights. They compare their hacking to activism, protest and civil disobedience.

The group Anonymous has brought hacktivism to the general public, and recently announced support for Florida teen Kaitlyn Hunt, facing felony prosecution in a same-sex underage sex case.

Hacktivists use computers to promote a political agenda.

Guccifer appears to hack because he can.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.