An Illuminati-obsessed hacker is breaking into the email accounts of Washington, D.C.'s political elite, and sharing what he finds. Who is Guccifer, and what's his motive?
This weekend, the hacker who goes by the handle "Guccifer" reportedly leaked confidential memos longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton regarding the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. According to the Smoking Gun, the cache consists of four emails, recreated in Comic Sans font to apparently maximize the humiliation. Guccifer sent the emails to dozens of politicians and journalists this weekend, after he'd broken into Blumenthal's AOL email account last week. (Nobody has published the emails yet; this might be another effect of the Comic Sans.)
The leaking is the latest stunt in Guccifer's weeks-long hacking spree targeting Washington insiders. He hacked into friends and family members of George W. Bush and exposed his amateurish paintings and personal correspondences. He broke into Colin Powell's Facebook page and defaced it with anti-Bush screeds. Mostly silly stuff. But with the leak of the Clinton emails he seems to be set on using his access to the inboxes of the powerful more powerfully.
Unlike hacktivists whose manifestos are longer than their list of accomplishments, Guccifer has not indicated any real motive for his spree. He's targeted both major parties, and it appears that he's leapfrogging from politco to politico using information gained in each hack, much as "Hollywood Hacker" Christopher Chaney weaseled his way into the accounts of dozens of hollywood starlets, domino-style.
One possible motive is a misguided attempt at digging up evidence to back up the conspiracy theories Guccifer has tossed out in his emails to The Smoking Gun and the posts on Colin Powell's page. According to The Smoking Gun:
In e-mail screeds, "Guccifer" seems to subscribe to dark conspiracies involving the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, and attendees of Bohemian Grove retreats. "the evil is leading this fucked up world!!!!!! i tell you this the world of tomorrow will be a world free of illuminati or will be no more," the hacker declared.
(Of course the Illuminati stuff could easily be a troll.)
Guccifer seems to come out of the blue. I haven't been able to find any reference to him before the George W. Bush hack in February. But he's claimed he's a longtime veteran of the scene. "i have an old game with the fucking bastards inside, this is just another chapter in the game," he told The Smoking Gun. Hackers often switch handles, so he could have been causing mayhem under a different name. In the meantime, we'll be waiting to see what Guccifer finds next.
[Image by Jim Cooke, photos via Getty]