Inspector Knacker of the Romanian Yard has fingered the collar of a 26-year old hacker who is accused of breaking into multiple NASA servers and causing $500,000 in damages.
The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) swooped on the Cluj home of Robert Butyka.
Local press said that Butyka was known by the online handle of “Iceman” but he was not known locally as the bloke with all the brains. He does not have any higher education and can’t find a job.
Apparently, since December 12, he has hacked into several NASA servers, destroyed protected data and restricted access to it.
He has been charged with obtaining unauthorised access and causing severe disruptions to a computer system, modifying, damaging and restricting access to data without authorisation and possession of hacking programs.
According to Network World, Butyka is currently sitting in a cell while while prosecutors seek a court order to extend the detention period. Police have seized several computers at his home during a raid.
Strangely the US has not asked for an extradition order, as it did in the Gary McKinnon case. Instead the Romanians will try in him in that country.
He is not the first Romanian hacker to break into computer systems belonging to NASA. In fact, the US space agency is a popular target for local hackers.
Another Romanian Victor Faur, hacked into multiple servers belonging to NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy in 2005. He is currently appealing a court verdict ordering him to write a cheque for $240,000 to the U.S. government.
While Faur received a 16-month suspended prison sentence in November 2008, he claimed that he didn’t damage the systems he accessed without authorisation. His legal defence team, claimed that the US government had just picked a damages figure from the air and had not provided sufficient proof that would justify the damage calculation.