The accused hacker, Razvan Manole Cernaianu, accessed high profile computer systems without authorization, including those belonging to the Pentagon and NASA, then posted evidence of his attacks online, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, said in a statement Tuesday. Cernaianu, a 20 year-old IT student from Timisoara, Romania, broke into servers belonging to the U.S. Army and stole confidential information, which he published on his blog, authorities said.
He also posted a video on his blog demonstrating an attack he carried out against the U.S. government, and created and offered for sale a computer program used to hack Web sites. Through his exploits, Cernaianu blocked access to systems and seriously disabled their proper functioning, authorities said.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, said in a blog post Tuesday that TinKode often published information online about security flaws in the systems he hacked. The hacker was likely seeking bragging rights, rather than financial gains, Cluley added.
"In my estimation over the last few years TinKode's motivation has been more about mischief-making than the more malicious attacks we often see, fueled by a desire for publicity via his active Twitter and Facebook accounts," Cluley wrote. "Perhaps now is a good time to remind everyone who thinks it's cool or amusing to expose an organization’s weak security that hacking into a site is still a crime, regardless of what your incentive may be."
Romanian authorities said the FBI and NASA took part in the investigation. TinKode also previously claimed credit for an attack against the Web site for Britain's Royal Navy.