The Hacker Who Introduced the World to George Bush's Paintings Reportedly Arrested in Romania

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 22 2014 10:06 AM

The Hacker Who Introduced the World to George Bush's Paintings Reportedly Arrested

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A photo of George W. Bush painting leaked by hacker Guccifer

Romanian police have reportedly arrested Guccifer, the computer hacker believed to have been responsible for a whole host of high-profile security breaches—the most well-known stateside being the leaking of a series of Colin Powell's rather intimate emails that suggested the former secretary of state was having an affair (which Powell denied), and introducing the world to George W. Bush's paintings of himself in the shower.

Most of the early reports are coming in from Romanian outlets, so the exact details of the apparent arrest are a bit unclear for those of us with more limited foreign language skills. But here's the Times of London with a bit of what is known:

Marcel Lazăr Lehel, 40 — better known as Guccifer — was held in the city of Arad on Wednesday. Although little is known about Mr Lehel, it is understood he was sentenced to three years supervised release in February 2012 after being arrested in for hacking the e-mail and Facebook accounts of various public figures in Romania.
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The Romania Insider paints a similar picture, and adds that Romanian authorities collaborated with their American counterparts to catch Lehel. In addition to the Powell and W. hacks, Guccifer's list of high-profile targets are also believed to have included numerous government officials, including at least one former CIA official and the head of Romania's intelligence service. He's also allegedly breached the private online lives of a number of celebrities, and more recently appears to have snatched the script for the season 4 finale of Downton Abbey.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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