36-year-old Peter Romar, a member of the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), had his first court appearance on Tuesday, in Virginia.
Romar allegedly went after anyone who was critical of Assad’s regime — media companies, foreign governments, and U.S. businesses.
Assistant attorney general for national security, John Carlin, said: “While some of the activity sought to harm the economic and national security of the United States in the name of Syria, these detailed allegations reveal that the members also used extortion to try to line their own pockets at the expense of law-abiding people all over the world.”
Carlin was also referring to Romar’s fellow SEA member, Firas Dardar, who launched a “series of cyber extortion schemes targeting American businesses.” According to FBI investigators, the two would “threaten to damage computers and delete or sell the data unless they were paid a ransom.”
Dardar — who is still at large — was added to the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted list in March, according to the Federal Times.
Romar, who was apprehended by German authorities in March, faces charges of unauthorized access to and damage of computers, extortion and money laundering, among others.
The video below shows how the SEA has hacked into websites.
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