Romanian Hacker ‘Guccifer’ Sentenced to 52 Months in US Prison

Romanian Hacker 'Guccifer' Sentenced to 52 Months in US Prison

Romanian Hacker ‘Guccifer’ Sentenced to 52 Months in US Prison
Lazar breached Clinton’s private server at her home in New York
He is believed to have hacked into email accounts of about 100 victims
Victims include prominent political figures
A Romanian hacker nicknamed “Guccifer” who helped expose the existence of a private email domain Hillary Clinton used when she was US secretary of state was sentenced on Thursday to 52 months in prison by a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Marcel Lazar, 44, who used the alias online, had pleaded guilty in May to charges including unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft after being extradited from Romania.

Lazar’s public defender, Shannon Quill, was not immediately available for comment.

Lazar has said in interviews he breached Clinton’s private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, but law enforcement and national security officials say that claim is meritless.

Lazar is believed to have hacked into email accounts of about 100 victims between 2012 and 2014.

They include prominent political figures such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a relative of former President George W. Bush and Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House aide and an unofficial adviser to Clinton. Clinton is now the Democratic nominee for president.

(Also see: Romanian Man Charged for Bush Family Email Hack)
Lazar leaked online memos Blumenthal sent Clinton that were addressed to her private email account, which was used during her time as secretary of state to conduct both personal and work business in lieu of a government account.

Clinton’s email arrangement, which became the subject of an FBI investigation, has drawn intense scrutiny from Republicans attempting to sow doubt about her honesty ahead of the November 8 presidential election.

An entity calling itself “Guccifer 2.0” and claiming to be a Romanian hacker emerged in June and began taking credit for data breaches at the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

US intelligence officials and cyber security experts believe Guccifer 2.0 is a front for Russian intelligence services intended to spread confusion about the hacks against the Democratic Party.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Email, Hacker, Hacking, Internet, Social, Hillary Clinton


Chrome 52 for Android Rolls Out With ‘Fast and Data-Efficient’ Video Playback

Chrome 52 for Android Rolls Out With 'Fast and Data-Efficient' Video Playback


  • It also brings support for video in data saving mode
  • Videos load five times faster in new browser
  • Users can save 50 percent data while browsing videos

After releasing it for Windows, Mac, and Linux users; Google has now released a stable Chrome 52 build for Android users as well. The biggest improvement with this update revolves around video playback. The browser will now load videos faster, apart from using less data and consuming less power during playback.

Chrome 52 for Android is rolling out to all users via an OTA, and it should reach all Android smartphones soon. For those who have not been prompted with a notification, can go to Settings > About > Check for updates.

With this update videos on popular sites like Facebook, YouTube and Netflix will load much faster, reducing buffer to a larger extent. To show just how fast the load time gets with the new update, Product manager At Google John Pallett has posted a video comparison on YouTube. The video experiment shows that the video starts five times faster on Chrome 52.

The new update also brings support for video in Data Saving Mode. Google claims that a user can save as much as 50 percent of data while viewing videos in Data Saving Mode. Of course, this works only on sites that are HTML5-based, which means Flash-based sites will continue to suck data and power while buffering videos.

Google has been discouraging the use of Flash since quite a while now, and has been pushing developers to switch to HTML5. The HTML5 software provides faster load times and consumes less power, which also helps battery life. As mentioned, Chrome 52 reached Windows, Linux, and Mac users last month bringing 48 security fixes.

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Tags: Android, Apps, Chrome 52, Chrome for Android, Google, Google Chrome

Facebook Q1 Shows Massive 52 Percent Growth Year Over Year


Skeptics expecting the Facebook success story to end will have to wait. The company reported a 52 percent revenue growth and tripled its quarterly profits in the first three months of 2016.

Facebook’s impressive growth coincides with Apple’s drop in sales for the first time in 13 years this quarter.

What’s also interesting is that another rival Microsoft hasn’t done well either. The company missed Wall Street expectations and reported a 25 percent decline in profits.

Facebook Q1 Reports 52 Percent Growth, Key Highlights

Some of the key highlights of Facebook’s first quarter results include the following:

  • Profit was 77 cents a share, surpassing Wall Street expectations of 62 cents a share.
  • More than 80 percent of the overall revenue came from mobile advertising, up from 73 percent for the same period in 2015.
  • More than 3 million businesses are using Facebook’s advertising products every month.
  • Total number of users rose to 1.65 billion, a jump of nearly 60 million over the fourth quarter.
  • Sales for the quarter reached $5.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year.

“To me, this is like Google 10 years ago,” Mark Mahaney, an Internet analyst at RBC Capital told The New York Times. “They really had such momentum, and they’re proving how valuable they are to both advertisers and consumers.”

Facebook Shows Massive Growth Thanks to Mobile

While Facebook reports 52 percent growth overall in Q1, it should be noted that 54 percent of all active users logged onto the site only through the company’s mobile site or app. Moreover mobile ads, which command a higher price than the ones featured on desktops, accounted for nearly four-fifths of its revenue.

The numbers clearly reveal that almost all of Facebook’s users are visiting the site from their mobile devices. And it’s not difficult to understand why mobile is playing such a big role in Facebook’s success.

A majority of new users are coming from regions outside North America and Europe. In those parts of the world, mobile phones are the most common and sometimes the only medium to access the Internet. Facebook confirms this. The company said it added 71 million mobile-only users in the first quarter.

To fully leverage the potential of mobile, Facebook has made moves like acquiring mobile company WhatsApp. At the same time, it is focusing on its mobile ads business.

“Businesses are no longer asking if they should market on mobile, they’re asking how,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “This is a shift that we think we’re very well-positioned to take advantage of and build on.”