When people talk about Romania here in Ireland the first thing that usually pops into their head is the vast numbers of Roma Gypsies, it is unfortunate as it us usually in a negative context revolving around the bad name generated by some members within these communities as pickpockets and scammers but that is the reality and the evidence is overwhelming.
But thats not the real Romania. Romania is a beautifull country filled with highly educated people, people who have adopted the modern technologies that are now available to them since the communist regime fell. Now we have a whole new generation of young people who are highly skilled digital natives, ready to adopt and learn their trade from the comfort of their bedrooms… and if you can scam a few people form there, why the fuck not?.
The town of Râmnicu Vâlcea is home to CS Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea which is a women handball club that competes in the Liga Naţională and the Women’s Champions League, although you may have heard of it because of its moniker “Hacker Ville”. This small town of approx 100,000 people is two hours outside of Bucharest, Romania, on the foothills of Transylvania and has the amazing worldwide reputation as a cyber crime hub, where countless exploits and scams ranging from basic social engineering to highly complex full server takeovers of companies such as NASA, Facebook, Google are being executed across the countries fiber optic network infrastructure, which apparently, according the video below is shit hot and well covered (although those terms are nor used) .
Im not sure if you follow any of the news relating to the Dark Web etc but one name you may be familliar with is Guccifer who came to worldwide notoriety in 2013 after hacking the e-mail accounts and exposing personal photos and sensitive correspondence from members of the Bush family, including both former U.S. presidents via Barbara Bush email account. Marcel-Lehel Lazar, a.k.a Guccifer, tormented various celebrities with no special skills beyond what he had picked up on the web.
This is not by any stretch his only hacking accolade as he can also add such prestigious names as Colin Powell, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a senior UN Official, members of the Rockefeller family, former FBI and Secret Service agents, CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, former Miss Maine Patricia Legere, former aide to president Bill Clinton Sidney Blumenthal and a whole host of other household names. His attacks were not by any means complex in the true sense of the word, a simple bit of social engineering is all he needed in many cases and the results speak for themselves.
On the other end of the spectrum you will find Iceman (aka Robert Butyka), who hacked NASA, and Razvan Manole Cernaianu (aka Tinkode), who breached the Pentagon and NASA as well, among others. To put faces to these names check out the short documentary below featuring all of the above talking about their small towns fantastic achievements in the weird wild web and remember change your passwords regularly and make them strong… and even at that, if somebody compromises the server all that will mean nothing so just don’t store anything online that you dont want anybody to ever see.
I don’t condone hacking in any sense other than white hat with full disclosure, then again I am biased as I don’t want my own websites or server to be hacked, but any time I hear of these guys getting locked away for years on end I think it is such a waste especially when skillsets like these could be used to take down real enemies of state like ISIS and every other nutjob out there running a dictatorship. Check out the video below produced, directed, created… that jazz by Norton Security