Former NASA Hacker Refuses to Pay Damages

A Romanian hacker who broke into tens of computers belonging to NASA, the Department of Energy and the US Navy doesn't plan to pay the $240,000 in damages ordered by the court.

Victor Faur, 27, from Arad, Romania, went on a hacking spree between November 2005 to September 2006 when, according to US authorities, he hacked into over 120 government computer systems.

He was indicted in Los Angeles on nine counts of computer intrusion and one of conspiracy, adding up to a sentence of 54 years in prison.

However, because at the time of his arrest the extradition agreement between Romania and the United States did not cover computer hacking crimes, US authorities had no other option but to have him tried in his native country.

The US government claimed his actions caused $1.5 million in damages, but Faur argued that he only hacked into computers to warn owners about security holes.

Faur, who used the hacker handle of SirVic, left taunting messages for system administrators on computers he compromised, making fun of their skills and instructing them on how to patch the machines.

In November 2008 a Romanian court handed Faur with a sixteen-month suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay $240,000 in damages to the U.S. government.

Faur challenged the verdict, but his first appeal was rejected. According to local media, his legal team is planning to take the matter to superior courts arguing that US authorities did not provide any proof of the damages the hacker allegedly caused.

In the meantime, Faur graduated law school and is currently working towards a doctorate in computer science. He also runs an IT consultancy firm, which is registered in his mother's name.

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