Threat Management

Cybercrime Blotter: Syrian Electronic Army hacker pleads guilty to hacking news sites and extortion

What happened? A 37-year-old hacker who worked with the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad loyalists, pleaded guilty to conspiring to receive extortion proceeds and conspiring to unlawfully access computers.

The hacker, a Syrian national named Peter Romar, worked with a partner to launch attacks against “perceived detractors” of al-Assad's regime, including media outlets, and hacked companies in an extortion scheme, according to a Justice Department release. His partner, Firas Dardar, known by the hacker alias “Th3Shad0w,” is believed to be a leader of the Syrian Electronic Army.

Sentence: Sentencing is scheduled for October 21. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Jurisdiction: The United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Background? In March, Romar was charged along with Dardar and another defendant, Ahmad Umar Agha (also known by the hacker alias “Th3 Pr0”). The three faced access device fraud, unauthorized access to and damage of computers, unlawful access to stored communications, and other hacking charges. Romar was extradited from Germany in May. Dardar is still at large.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.