DOJ charges 3 former US intelligence operatives with helping build UAE hacking program

The US Justice Department on Tuesday announced federal computer fraud charges against three men who allegedly helped build a hacking program for the United Arab Emirates government.

Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke — all former US intelligence or military operatives — are accused of using computer exploits to break into computers in the US and around the world, according to the indictment unsealed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The hacking program, known as Project Raven, involved providing the UAE government with potent hacking tools without an export license, according to the indictment.

Baier, Adams and Gericke are also accused of modifying computer exploits “into covert hacking systems for U.A.E. government agencies” and of stealing personal identifying information from people around the world.

The intelligence-gathering services allegedly provided by the three men included sophisticated hacking tools that can infect a mobile device without the user having to click on anything, prosecutors said.

Baier, Adams and Gericke agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a plea deal with the government that includes more than $1.6 million in penalties.

Attorneys for the three men could not be immediately reached for comment.

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