Two Iranian nationals remain at large after being charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with hacking into a Vermont-based engineering firm and stealing software used to develop projectiles, ranging from bullets to GPS-guided artillery shells and missiles.
A superseding indictment, dated April 21, 2016, and unsealed Monday, charges Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39, and Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, with a raft of hacking-related offenses. Charges include computer fraud and abuse, unauthorized access to computers, theft of information, as well as wire fraud and conspiracy. Arrest warrants have been issued for both men.
Based on an investigation led by the FBI cyber squad based in Albany, New York, beginning around 2007, Ajily – a businessman who regularly sells to Iranian military and government entities – instructed Rezakhah and others to steal valuable software or else find a way to crack it, referring to defeating any devices or code designed to restrict its use, the indictment alleges.
“Rezakhah would then conduct unauthorized intrusions into victim networks to steal the desired software,” the Justice Department says. “Once the software was obtained, Ajily marketed and sold the software through various companies and associates to Iranian entities, including universities and military and government entities, specifically noting that such sales were in contravention of U.S. export controls and sanctions.”