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Romanian pleads guilty in hack of D.C. police surveillance cameras prior to Inauguration Day

September 21, 2018

Eveline Cismaru, one of two Romanians accused of disabling more than100 surveillance cameras used by D.C police days prior to President Trump’s inauguration ceremony, has pleaded guilty to related charges.

Cismaru, 28, pleaded guilty in D.C. federal court Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud related to a Jan. 2017 ransomware infection impacting the capital’s Metropolitan Police Department, prosecutors announced in a press release.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 3 and faces a total of up to 25 years behind bars, the Department of Justice said in the press release.

Beginning on about Jan. 9, 2017, prosecutors said Cismaru and a co-defendant, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, briefly disabled most of the MPD’s network of citywide surveillance cameras by infecting connected computers with a debilitating ransomware virus.

Altogether the virus disabled approximately 126 of 187 digital video records connected to the MPD system of surveillance cameras, rendering them inoperable as authorities made security preparations in anticipation of Mr. Trump’s swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20.

Investigators ultimately traced the infection to Romania, and both co-defendants were apprehended in Bucharest within days of Europol issuing an arrest warrant in December. Cismaru subsequently fled, was apprehended and sent to the U.S. to face charges, while her alleged partner in crime remains abroad pending extradition.

“The investigation revealed no evidence that any person’s physical security was threatened or harmed due to the disruption of the MPD surveillance cameras,” the Justice Department said in the press release.

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