Bush hacker will face US charges

The Romanian hacker that stole pictures of George W. Bush’s paintings is being extradited to the U.S., according to media reports.

Marcel Lazăr Lehel, better known by his online alias Guccifer, is currently serving a four-year prison sentence in Romania for hacking into various accounts of Romanian public officials and celebrities.

But Romania’s top court has approved Lehel’s extradition to the U.S. for a maximum of 18 months to face his Justice Department charges. The U.S. indicted the hacker in June 2014, the same month he was sentenced to his overseas prison term.

The 42-year-old hacker was thrust into the spotlight in 2013, when he claimed responsibility for publishing private photos stolen from George W. Bush’s personal email account. The pictures showed Bush’s self-portrait paintings, generating a media firestorm.

Lehel also said he cracked into the email accounts of other top U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The hacker did not use advanced technical means to infiltrate the accounts, instead using personal information gathered online to guess the answers to security questions.

In the U.S., Lehel faces charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice.