Two Iranians Charged With Hacking US Defense Contractor

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed an indictment on Monday against two Iranian nationals accused of hacking a US company and stealing software used in ammunition design.

The two suspects are Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39 and Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, both Iranian businessmen.

According to the indictment, Ajily ran a company named Andisheh VesaJ Middle East Company, which he used as a front to obtain and sell software in contravention of Western sanctions against Iran. Ajily’s customers included Iranian private companies, but also Iranian military and government entities.

Rezakhah ran his own company called Dongle Labs, which provided DRM and license cracking services. Rezakhah was one of the many hackers Ajily hired to steal software from Western companies.

The two orchestrated the 2012 hack of Arrow Tech

DOJ officials claim that in 2012, Ajily hired Rezakhah to hack and steal software from a US company called Arrow Tech. The indictment says that Rezakhah, together with another accomplice named Nima Golestaneh, rented a server that they used on October 22, 2016, to hack into the Arrow Tech website and adjacent network.

Officials say the two hackers stole a software application named Projectile Rocket Ordnance Design and Analysis System (PRODAS), created by Arrow Tech to aid in the design of bullets, missiles, and other military projectiles.

Rezakhah cracked the program, which he later supplied to Ajily to market in the Iranian market, but also elsewhere outside the US.

Group worked together for at least six years

While officials brought charges only for hacking Arrow Tech, the indictment also claims that Ajily and Rezakhah worked together for years, between 2007 and 2013, hacking several targets and stealing software.

The FBI also claims that Ajily had many other partners and hackers that he used to obtain his software, along with a network of companies that he used to sell the stolen goods.

US officials charged the two suspects with criminal conspiracy relating to computer fraud and abuse, unauthorized access to, and theft of information from, computers, wire fraud, exporting a defense article without a license, and violating sanctions against Iran.

A US judge has issued a warrant in their names. Their partner, Nima Golestaneh pleaded guilty to hacking Arrow Tech back in December 2015.

In March 2016, the US also charged seven Iranian nationals on accusations of launching repeated DDoS attacks and orchestrating hacks of industrial SCADA equipment on the behest of the Iranian government.


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