Ocoee man pleads guilty to hack attempt at Clinton Foundation in jihadist conspiracy theory

An Ocoee man pleaded guilty Thursday to hacking the Clinton Foundation in a conspiracy theory that the organization might be funding jihadist groups. Timothy Sedlak, 43, is facing up to five years in federal prison on computer hacking charges. Prosecutors...

Ocoee man pleads guilty to hack attempt at Clinton Foundation in jihadist conspiracy theory

An Ocoee man pleaded guilty Thursday to hacking the Clinton Foundation in a conspiracy theory that the organization might be funding jihadist groups. 

Timothy Sedlak, 43, is facing up to five years in federal prison on computer hacking charges. 

Prosecutors say Sedlak attempted to access the computers at the organization by trying hundreds of thousands of times to log into employees’ email accounts in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  

An official with the Department of Justice in New York, where Sedlak was prosecuted, refused to release the name of the charity organization, citing doing so would go against their normal practice.

The charity was revealed in court documents online that Reuters obtained, which were later redacted by prosecutors and put back online. 

Sedlak told officials he was doing research into charities and believed the organization may have been unintentionally financing jihadist groups by sending agencies and funds to the Middle East, which are later seized by the groups. 

Federal agents say Sedlak made about 400,000 attempts to gain access to the charity’s computer network by using a “brute-force” password cracking tool. 

Prosecutors said the tool is designed to “launch a relentless barrage of potential passwords at an email account in an attempt to guess the account’s password.” 

While searching his home, authorities found 30 computers along with notes about the organization, an executive of the agency and an individual who has been “publicly affiliated” with the charity, the U.S. Department of Justice said. 

The Department of Justice did not release the names of the individuals, but Reuters reports the notes mentioned Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea. 

While searching his computers, federal prosecutors found more than 400 images of child pornography, some of which were produced in his Ocoee home, court documents show.

He was charged possession and production of child pornography and was recently sentenced to 42 years in prison, Reuters reports. 

Sedlak is scheduled to be sentenced in the computer hacking case in June.

chayes@orlandosentinel.com, 407-420-5493 or Twitter: @journo_christal

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