In Search of the Most Dangerous Town on the Internet”, is a new documentary video produced by independent film director Sean Dunne for Norton, Symantec. The documentary provides a first-hand look at hacker culture and ethos, as well as the socioeconomic factors fueling today's underground information economy in Romania.
“Cyber-crime is a lucrative business and unfortunately affects millions of people across the globe each year,” said Derek O'Carrol, senior vice president of the Norton Business Unit at Symantec. “We increasingly see cyber-criminals using aggressive attack methods like ransomware, which rose 113 percent last year. Our goal is to spark discussion about the burgeoning business of cyber-crime and underscore the importance of protecting one's personal information in today's connected world.”
Set against the backdrop of post-communist Romania in the town of Râmnicu Vâlcea, which the film-makers say is also known as "Hackerville", the documentary looks at the people who create and oppose one of the largest hacker communities in the world. From scamming to phishing and master hacking, there is a high prevalence of sophisticated hackers in Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania.
Convicted hackers and scammers reveal their methods, motivations and the surprising reasons why they chose to become involved in a life of cybercrime, including:
Iceman, aka Robert Butyka, a Romanian hacker known for infiltrating 25 computers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena in December 2010 causing US $500,000 in damages.
Tinkode a Romanian hacker named Manole Razvan Cernaianu known for hacking into many high-profile websites including ones that belonged to the US Army, NASA, the U.K. Royal Navy, the European Space Agency, MySQL and Google.
Madalin Dumitru is Tinkode's business partner and the Founder & CEO of Cyber Smart Defence in 2011. He has 12 years of experience with IT companies, including Internet marketing firms, and has an educational and training background in sales, marketing and general management.
Guccifer is a Romanian hacker named Marcel Lazar, most recognised for accessing the personal email accounts of many public figures, such as Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell. He was able to keep his identity secret from the F.B.I. and the Secret Service for several years.
'In Search of the Most Dangerous Town on the Internet' is now live and can be viewed here.