IT’S a seemingly innocent city at the foot of the Transylvanian Alps, three hours outside of the Romanian capital of Bucharest. There are meadows with classic European houses, chickens clucking away in front yards and picturesque grassy fields fit for a postcard.
It’s a city called Ramnicu Valcea. But to law enforcement agencies across the world, it goes by another name: Hackerville.
While on the outskirts it may seem like an innocent town, the streets are filled with expensive cars and retailers due to its rich residents, who make their money stealing off the internet. Over a billion dollars was stolen last year by cyber criminals in Romania, with most in Ramnicu Valcea.
Known more for its antivirus software, security company Norton filmed a documentary on the town, labelling it as “the most dangerous town on the internet”.
Three of the world’s most notorious hackers hail from Hackerville, including Guccifer, who was responsible for hacking into the personal computers of former US president George W Bush, Hillary Clinton and the Rockefellers. Meanwhile, Robert Bukya (aka Iceman) hacked NASA and Razvan Manole Cernaianu (aka Tinkode) breached the Pentagon.