15 September (WNN) — The Justice Department said three former US intelligence and military operatives have admitted to being hired by the United Arab Emirates for which they have committed sophisticated cybercrimes.
In a statement published Tuesday, the Justice Department said that three hired hackers Mark Baer, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Gerrick, 40, had attempted to solve the department’s investigation into their alleged crimes of violating US export controls. agreed to pay $1.685 million for Computer fraud and access device fraud laws.
According to court documents, the trio used “illegal, fraudulent and criminal means”, including hacking systems, to gain unauthorized access to protected computers in the United States and elsewhere, including information, materials, documents, records, To steal data and personally identifiable information. United Arab Emirates.
Prosecutors said the three men lacked proper licenses from the US government to do the kind of work they continued to do despite repeated warnings.
According to the agreement to drop charges, the men accept responsibility for their actions and agree to cooperate with the United States, accept employment sanctions, and pay monetary penalties. Bayer is to pay $750,000, Adams $600,00 and Gerrick $335,000, it said.
Court documents say that after leaving the military, the men began working for an unnamed US company that provided cyber services to a UAE government agency in compliance with US regulations. However, in January 2016 the defendants joined an unnamed UAE company as senior managers of a team called Cyber Intelligence-Operations.
Between January 2016 and November 2019, three of the company’s men and other employees “expanded the breadth and sophistication” of the hacking operation they provided to the UAE, with two zero-clicks named KARMA and KARMA 2 to infect devices without Hacking was involved. According to prosecutors, users interacted with malware.
The Justice Department said the operation “leveraged servers in the United States belonging to an American technology company … to remote, unauthorized access to any of the millions of smartphones and mobile devices that use an unnamed US company’s operating system.” To get”.
The unnamed US company updated its smartphone in September 2016, first to block the zero-click exploit, and then in August 2017 to limit the functionality of its second hack.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko called the settlement “the first resolution of its kind of investigation.”
“Hackers-for-hire and those who otherwise support such activities in violation of US law should fully expect to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct,” he said.