An Iranian-American businessman has accused two Indian companies — Gurugram-based CyberRoot Risk Advisory and Delhi-based BellTroX Info — of hacking into his email accounts and publishing his email on the internet, according to a lawsuit filed in a federal court in North Carolina. Reuters first reported the story. In his suit, Farhad Azima, an American airline operator of Iranian origin, has alleged that CyberRoot Risk Advisory hired BellTroX to hack-and-leak his emails at the behest of Vital Management Services, an American private intelligence firm. Vital was in turn hired by international law firm Dechert on behalf of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), a UAE-based sovereign investment fund. We have reached out to Dechert, CyberRoot, and BellTroX for more information. Vital allegedly paid $1 million to CyberRoot to hack and leak Azima’s emails. CyberRoot reportedly hired BellTroX using this money. The suit has described CyberRoot as a company that “engages in illegal hacking”. Azima has also alleged that the cache of targeted accounts that Reuters had reviewed while investigating BellTroX included email accounts belonging to Azima and his associates. Alleged modus operandi: Spear phishing, information warfare Through phishing and spear phishing emails, that is, emails with malicious links specifically targeting Azima, CyberRoot gained real time access to his emails. The aim was to use Azima’s data in a lawsuit against him in the UK (more on that below). CyberRoot then uploaded this information online and shared some data with Del Rosso. In August 2016, it along with BellTroX, also created blogs…
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