The Bucharest Court approved on Monday the request filed by Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) to extend the pre-trial arrest warrants issued on the names of Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David. The two, employees of Israeli company Black Cube, have been indicted in the case concerning the harassment of Laura Codruta Kovesi, Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
DIICOT prosecutors detained Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David on April 3, remanding them on the same day on 30-day pre-trial arrest, following a Bucharest Court decision. Subsequently, the Bucharest Court of Appeals lowered that period to 20 days (April 3 – April 22).
According to DIICOT, Weiner Ron is accused of setting up a crime ring, illegally accessing an IT system, engaging in the unauthorised transfer of data, affecting the integrity of the data (continuous offences) and engaging in illegal operations with IT devices and programmes.
Geclowicz David is accused of setting up a crime ring, complicity to the illegal accessing of an IT system, complicity to the unauthorised transfer of data, complicity to the alteration of data and complicity to illegal operations involving IT devices and programmes.
“In the case, there is the reasonable suspicion that, throughout March 2016, two persons holding leadership positions within an Israeli company that has offices both in Tel Aviv, Israel, and in London, U.K., together with several company employees, including the two defendants (Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David), set up a crime ring in order to commit several crimes, namely: harassment and IT crimes. In effect, the crimes consisted of conducting threatening and harassing phone calls, meant to induce fear, as well as phishing attacks, in order to obtain the passwords and subsequently to compromise electronic mail accounts, activities followed by the violation of correspondence and the unlawful copying and transfer of data,” DIICOT points out.
Within the crime ring, Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David had clear roles and tasks. Thus, Weiner Ron was responsible for the activity’s technical IT side, having the necessary IT skills and handling the phishing attacks and the actual compromising of the email accounts. Geclowicz David was in charge with contacting by phone the members of Laura Kovesi’s family and entourage and obtaining the necessary contact information, more exactly the precise email addresses which were then targeted by IT attacks.
DIICOT also shows that as part of this activity, Weiner Ron unlawfully used the passwords of the accounts’ legitimate owners, repeatedly and unlawfully accessed (without the permission of the accounts’ legitimate owners and users), by breaking the security measures (authentication IDs and passwords), the email accounts of three persons.
“After the author accessed the said online accounts and took control over them, he thus gained access to the private information and correspondence stored in the compromised accounts, data unlawfully copied and transferred to his own IT system, thus generating inherent changes to the content of the accounts attacked,” the prosecutors add.
Teodor Melescanu about the agents who spied on DNA Chief: “They acted legally in Romania”
Teodor Melescanu, former director of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), stated on Saturday that the Black Cube company is professional, suggesting at the same time that it had “a permission” to carry out the action in Bucharest.
“They acted legally in Romania. It’s true they got close to something painful. We’ll find out,” the former SIE Director stated according to evz.ro.
“It’s one of the biggest companies in the world, and Romanian authorities haven’t denied in their official communiqués that they [Black Cube] allegedly had a top-level permission as they claimed. Nobody officially said “no [they didn’t].” Sources have pointed to a reaction from the Presidential Administration, but high level could mean something else too,” Teodor Melescanu explained.
Likewise, he added that the arrest of Black Cube agents in Bucharest does not mean “too much” and suggested that they allowed themselves to be caught. “They could have taken the email data from anywhere, they didn’t have to come to Romania, to a casino,” Melescanu added.