The Romanian computer hacker known as Guccifer said he has hacked into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and that doing so “was easy.”
Guccifer — real name Marcel Lehel Lazar — talked to Fox News from the Virginia jail where he is being held on cyber charges. He also spoke to NBC News in an interview before he was extradited to the U.S. last month in which he said Clinton’s claim that her server was safe is “a lie.”
The Clinton campaign responded after the reports were released disputing Lazar’s claims, saying that the hacker offered no proof to back up his claims and that he inaccurately described Clinton’s server.
The 44-year-old Lazar was first identified in 2013 after he released emails he obtained through a hack of Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account. The hack exposed Clinton’s personal email account — HDR22@clintonemail.com — though it was not known at the time that the former secretary of state used the address exclusively while at the State Department.
Clinton has maintained that her email account and server were not hacked. But Lazar claims otherwise.
“For me, it was easy…easy for me, for everybody,” he told Fox’s Catherine Herridge from the Virginia jail.
He said that once he infiltrated Blumenthal’s email account — which he did by guessing answers to the former White House aide’s security questions — he gained a foothold that allowed him to breach Clinton’s system.
“For example, when Sidney Blumenthal got an email, I checked the email pattern from Hillary Clinton, from Colin Powell from anyone else to find out the originating IP,” he explained.
“When they send a letter, the email header is the originating IP usually.”
Asked by Herridge how many times he pinged Clinton’s server, Lazar said “like twice.” He also said that the contents of Clinton’s emails were “not interesting” to him at the time.
“I was not paying attention. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an email server she and others were using with political voting stuff,” he told Herridge.
One cyber security expert who talked to Fox said that if a small-time Romanian hacker could compromise Clinton’s server — and Fox News cautioned that it was not able to verify if Lazar’s story is true — then professional hackers could easily do the same.
“If a little Romanian country boy can get into this then it means that this thing could have gotten into by anybody,” Morgan Wright told the network.
Lazar said he saw evidence that hackers from other parts of the world had poked around inside Clinton’s system.
“As far as I remember, yes, there were…up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world,” he said.
In an interview with NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden conducted from a Bucharest prison, Lazar laughed when told that Clinton has claimed that her server was safe.
“That’s a lie,” he said. “It’s not safe at all.”
NBC reported that Lazar offered no proof to back up his assertions.
Lazar will go on trial Sept. 12. He pleaded not guilty to nine counts related to cyber crimes.
The Clinton campaign disputed Lazar’s claims.
“There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell,” the campaign said, according to NBC.
[dcquiz] “It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.”
The campaign also said that the government has not informed Clinton her server is involved in the pending case against Lazar.
“We have received no indication from any government agency to support these claims, nor are they reflected in the range of charges that Guccifer already faces and that prompted his extradition in the first place,” the campaign said.