US

Two Iranians Charged With Hacking Vermont Software Company

Two Iranians were charged with hacking into a Vermont-based software company whose software is designated as a “defense article” by the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday.

Mohammed Reza Rezakhah and Mohammed Saeed Ajily were charged with conspiracy related to computer fraud and abuse; unauthorized access to and theft of information from computers; wire fraud and exporting a defense article without a license. They were also charged with violating sanctions against Iran, according to a DOJ statement.

The allegations in the indictment claim that beginning in 2007 Rezakhah, Ajily and another Iranian conspired together to access computers without authorization to obtain software they would sell in Iran and elsewhere outside the United States.

The third Iranian has already pleaded guilty for related conduct in Vermont.

Rezakhah would conduct unauthorized intrusions into victim networks to steal the desired software and Ajily marketed and sold the software through various companies and associates to Iranian entities, including universities and military and government agencies.

“Such sales were in contravention of U.S. export controls and sanctions,” the DOJ noted.

In October of 2012, Rezakhah also allegedly hacked a Vermont-based engineering, consulting and software design company that supports aerodynamics analysis and projectiles design.

That company’s software is designated as a “defense article” on the U.S. Munitions List of International Traffic in Arms Regulations and cannot be exported from the U.S. without the State Department’s approval.