Three “horror hackers” working for a company in the United Arab Emirates have agreed to pay a $ 1.68 million fine to the government in Abu Dhabi as part of a legal settlement. The judiciary said:.
The suspects, two U.S. citizens and a former U.S. citizen, have provided computer hacking services to a UAE company, the judiciary said in a statement Tuesday, adding that “a device can be compromised without any action from the target.”
Individuals have been identified as Mark Name, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Xerk, a 40-year-old former U.S. citizen. U.S. law allows Americans to relinquish their citizenship.
According to the Justice Department, all three previously worked for U.S. intelligence or the U.S. military.
This agreement, known as the “adjournment case agreement,” will allow suspects to escape criminal charges if they comply with its terms.
“Theft hackers and those who support such actions in violation of U.S. law should expect a full trial for their criminal conduct,” Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesco said in the statement.
“If left unchecked, the proliferation of attacking cyber capabilities could undermine privacy and security around the world.”
The UAE embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera’s comments on Tuesday night.
The Department of Justice has repeatedly warned that the trio’s work is coming under the Department of Defense, which requires special permits from the US government. For its part, the FBI pledged to fight Americans who provide hacking services illegally.
“Brian Forndiran, deputy director of the FBI’s Internet division, will fully investigate individuals and companies that profit from illegal criminal cyber activities,” the statement said.
“This would be a clear news-risk and consequence for anyone, including former US government officials who sought to profit from cyberspace from export-controlled information for the benefit of the foreign government or foreign business entity.”
Reuters news agency reported that Bayer, Adams and Kerke were working as part of a secret unit called Project Raven, which helped the United States spy on its adversaries around the world.
The name of a former National Security Agency (NSA) officer was the director of Project Raven Reuters Survey 2019 Was the first to reveal the existence of a hacking unit.
Bayer will pay most of the fines – $ 750,000, according to the Department of Justice – Adams and Jericho will pay $ 600,000 and $ 335,000, respectively. All three agreed to give up US or foreign security clearances and cooperate fully with the FBI.
Human rights groups have criticized the United Arab Emirates for hacking journalists and its opponents. Human rights activists.
A joint media investigation earlier this year revealed that several phone numbers targeted by Pegasus, a spyware owned by the Israeli private company NSO Group, were linked to the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates at the time denied allegations related to the use of Pegasus, saying they were “not based on evidence”.
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