The U.S Department of Justice has charged two Iranian nationals with hacking a US defense technology manufacturer’s network to grab rocketry simulation software.
The two Iranians, Mohammed Reza Rezakhah and Mohammed Saeed Ajily hacked into Arrow-Tech’s corporate network to grab the company's Projectile Rocket Ordnance Design and Analysis System (PRODAS) suite, which is used to develop rockets, missiles and similar weapons.
They were helped by third defendant, Nima Golestaneh who spent at least five years getting to know about the company.
An indictment was unsealed today charging Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39 and Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35, both Iranian nationals, with a 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. The court issued arrest warrants for both defendants, the Department of Justice said in a press statement Tuesday.
According to the allegations in the indictment filed in Rutland, Vermont, beginning in or around 2007, Rezakhah, Ajily, and a third actor who has already pleaded guilty in the District of Vermont for related conduct, conspired together to access computers without authorization in order to obtain software which they would then sell and redistribute in Iran and elsewhere outside the U.S. Ajily, a businessman, would task Rezakhah and others with stealing or unlawfully cracking particular pieces of valuable software. Rezakhah would then conduct unauthorized intrusions into victim networks to steal the desired software. 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.