Hackers charged with taking over D.C. surveillance cameras before Trump inauguration

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Washington (dpa) – Two Romanian hackers have been charged with illegally accessing two-thirds of Washington’s outdoor surveillance cameras just days before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, according to the US Justice Department on Thursday.

Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, 25, and Eveline Cismaru, 28, of Romania, were arrested on December 15 in Bucharest, according to the statement. Both have both been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit various forms of computer fraud.

An affidavit filed by US Secret Service Agent James Graham alleges that 123 of the capital’s 187 surveillance cameras were affected by a virus which hit police computers which controlled the cameras between January 9 and January 12.

The ransomware virus used the computers to send malicious emails to 179,000 addresses, offering to unlock their damaged computers in return for money.

Trump was inaugurated on January 20 and the Justice Department said that police worked with the Secret Service to ensure that the surveillance camera system was secure and operational again ahead of the ceremony.

The two men remain in Romania awaiting “further legal developments,” according to a report by US website The Hill. Isvanca is in police custody while Cismaru is under house arrest. If convicted, the pair face up to 20 years in prison, the website said.


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