The US’ Department of Justice announced on Thursday that they’ve just charged a couple of Romanian hackers. Their crime? Well, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru are accused of hacking the Washington PD’s surveillance cameras just days prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration, on January 20th, as per the DOJ’s official statement on Thursday. Sounds pretty scary, right?
Here’s the story: the two Romanian hackers were arrested on December 15th in Romania over the incident that is claimed to have been compromised Washington DC’s Metro Police surveillance systems as part of a ransom-ware scheme of sorts, i.e. it’s very probable the hackers did not specifically targeted the respective computer/camera systems. As per a Justice Department official statement:
“This case was of the highest priority due to its impact on the Secret Service’s protective mission and its potential effect on the security plan for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration”
The alleged hacking is said to have compromised the Washington PD’s surveillance systems between January 9th and 12th, yet no harm was done, as in the so-called hacking did not threaten anyone’s physical security, i.e. that was a victimless crime. Basically, the so-called hackers were actually scammers in a phising expedition, looking for a quick buck, as the 2 Romanian nationals were intending to send the ransomware to 179,000 email addresses:
“The investigation also identified certain victims who had received the ransomware or whose servers had been accessed during the scheme”
Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru were charged with conspiracy to commit various forms of computer fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If they’ll be convicted, these charges may carry a a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.