Romanian authorities arrest man suspected of hacking into NASA and Pentagon servers

Romanian DIICOT arrested a man believed to be the hacker known as TinKode

Romanian authorities have arrested a 20-year-old man from the city of Timisoara on Monday under accusations that he hacked into computer systems belonging to NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Manole Razvan Cernăianu was charged with unauthorized access to a computer system, transferring data from a computer system without authorization and causing serious disruptions to a computer system, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) said in a statement.

Authorities claim that Cernăianu hacked into multiple online properties belonging to the U.S. government including a NASA server and a Pentagon website. The suspect also copied confidential information from those systems and published it on his personal blog, DIICOT said.

Romanian news agency Mediafax cited unnamed judicial sources according to whom Cernăianu, who is a computer science student, is believed to be the hacker known online as TinKode.

Over the last few years, TinKode has repeatedly exposed security holes in high-profile websites including those belonging to the U.S. Army, NASA, the U.K. Royal Navy, the European Space Agency, MySQL and Google.

Most of the time TinKode practiced full disclosure with the vulnerabilities he found. He didn't notify the affected parties in advance and included samples of the information stored on the vulnerable servers in his public advisories. However, sometimes he did report vulnerabilities in a responsible manner, which earned him a spot in Google's Security Hall of Fame.

TinKode said in the past that his intentions were never malicious in nature, but the authorities claim that his actions caused significant damage to the servers he targeted.

If found guilty, Cernăianu would become the third Romanian hacker convicted of breaking into NASA servers. Robert Butyka, 26, of Cluj-Napoca, known online as Iceman, and Victor Faur, 28, of Arad, known online as SirVic, received suspended prison sentences for similar actions.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?