Tech

Iranian National Pleads Guilty To Hacking Vermont Software Company

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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An Iranian national has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing wire fraud and accessing a corporate computer without authorization, for the purpose of stealing software secrets from a defense industry consulting firm, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Nima Golestaneh “conspired with others to hack the network and computers at Arrow Tech Associates Inc … Golestaneh’s role in the conspiracy was to acquire servers in other countries for his co-conspirators to use remotely in order to launch computer intrusions into victim companies … thereby masking their true location and identity,” the DOJ press release stated.

According to the indictment, Golestaneh breached Arrow Tech’s computer network and provided servers to foreign co-conspirators in October, 2012. The conspirator then stole Arrow Tech’s software products and other proprietary information. (RELATED: Russia Finalizes Deal To Sell S-300 Missiles To Iran)

Golestaneh, who was arrested in Turkey the following November and extradited to the U.S. in February, 2015, is facing up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for his crimes.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to both Arrow Tech Associates and the Vermont division of the DOJ for comment. Arrow Tech did not respond to calls, and the DOJ declined to comment.

Eric Miller, the U.S. Attorney in Vermont, said in a statement:

This case illustrates that no part of the United States is immune from cyber intrusions…cyber criminals are not immune from the law because they hack from faraway countries that they perceive as offering a safe haven.  Working with our colleagues at FBI and other law enforcement agencies, we can and will identify them and we will make every effort to arrest and prosecute them.

While there have been no indications of state involvement, Iranian actors have been ratcheting up the cyber attacks against the U.S. recently. (RELATED: Iran Cracks Down On Encryption, Arresting Administrators Of Secure Messaging App)

Iranian hackers were found to have breached the social media accounts and emails belonging to several officials at the Department of State who focus on Iran and the Middle East.

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