Bush family hacker ‘Guccifer’ gets 4 years in prison

WASHINGTON — The hacker famous for revealing family photos and paintings of the Bush family and emails from a Hillary Clinton associate was sentenced Thursday to more than four years in federal prison.

Marcel Lazar, 44, a Romanian who went by the name “Guccifer” in his cyber exploits, had pleaded guilty in May to hacking and identity theft.

He was given 52 months in prison Thursday by a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Guccifer was famous for hacking into an email account of a member of the Bush family, revealing family photos of former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, including the younger Bush’s penchant for painting.

He also hacked into the email account of Clinton friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal, publishing correspondence between the two and revealing Clinton’s private email server that she used as secretary of state.

He later bragged in an interview that he had hacked Clinton’s emails directly, but FBI Director James Comey told Congress this summer that Lazar later admitted to officials that was a lie.

According to the Justice Department, Lazar admitted to hacking about 100 American victims, including the Bush family, Blumenthal, as well as former secretary of state and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell.

Lazar was extradited to the US from Romania in April.

While the original Guccifer has been awaiting sentencing in jail, a second hacker has adopted his moniker to release sensitive documents online.

Under the name “Guccifer 2.0,” someone has been releasing documents obtained by hacking Democratic groups, including the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Those releases are suspected to be the work of hackers connected to the Russian government, who have invented this persona in order to cast doubt on their culpability and influence the US presidential election, according to a nearly unanimous consensus among cybersecurity researchers in the private sector.

The US has not made any official accusations toward Russia for the hack.