Iranian nationals charged with hacking US defense contractor

A U.S. court issued an arrest warrant for two Iranian nationals accused of working together to hack into, obtain and sell software from a Vermont-based engineering consulting and software design company.

Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, and a third actor who already pleaded guilty for related conduct, were charged with criminal conspiracy relating to computer fraud and abuse, unauthorized access to and theft of information from computers, wire fraud, exporting defense articles without licenses, and violating sanctions against Iran, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Allegations declare the operations began in or around 2007.

The company, Arrow Tech, is known for software it developed supporting aerodynamics analysis and design of ammunition, which has been designated as a “defense article” on the United States Munitions List of International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This designation restricts the software from being sold internationally without permission from the U.S. Department of State.

Rezakhah allegedly hacked the company in October 2012 and Ajily, a businessman, promoted the software as a product he could sell to Iranian clients.

The case will be prosecuted by acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles of the District of Vermont and Deputy Chief Sean Newell of the Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Albany Cyber Squad.