Romanian NASA hacker gets a three-year suspended prison sentence

Romanian hacker received a three-year suspended prison sentence after admitting to breaking into NASA servers

Robert Butyka, a 26-year old Romanian man accused of hacking into multiple NASA servers, received a three-year suspended prison sentence on Tuesday after admitting his guilt.

Butyka was arrested by prosecutors from the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) on Nov. 15, in his home city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

He was charged with obtaining unauthorized access to a computer system, modifying damaging and restricting access to data without authorization and possessing hacking programs.

During the first trial hearing on January 10, Butyka admitted that he hacked into several NASA servers over an extended period of time that started in Dec. 12, 2010. However, his legal defense team challenged NASA's damage claims of $580,000.

According to local media reports, the Cluj-Napoca Court sentenced Butyka on Tuesday to three-year of suspended prison time with a probation period of seven years. The sentence can be appealed in the next 10 days.

The judge also decided to form a separate case around NASA's damage claims that will be tried in a civil court. The trial date was set for March 13 to allow the U.S. government agency to prepare its evidence.

Robert Butyka was released on Tuesday after spending the last two months in pre-trial detention. According to prosecutors, he has no higher education and was unemployed at the time of his arrest.

Butyka's case is similar to that of another Romanian NASA hacker named Victor Faur, who received a 16-month suspended prison sentence in November 2008. Faur is currently appealing a court verdict ordering him to pay damages of $240,000 to the U.S. government.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on Good Gear Guide

Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?