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Israeli Detective Sentenced For Role In Wirecard Hacking Case
Israeli detective Aviram Azari receives 80-month sentence in Wirecard hacking case targeting critics and journalists.
In a landmark case linked to the Wirecard scandal, Aviram Azari, an Israeli private detective, has been sentenced to 80 months in prison. Azari, 52, faced charges of computer intrusion, wire fraud, and identity theft. His involvement in a hacking scheme targeting journalists and Wirecard critics resulted in significant repercussions. The scheme, amounting to $4.8 million, played a crucial part in the broader narrative of Wirecard's downfall in 2020 after exposure of fraud.
Global Hacking Campaign Orchestrated
Azari's conviction stems from his central role in a global hacking campaign, as described by Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. From Israel, Azari orchestrated and facilitated a sophisticated spearphishing operation aimed at various individuals and entities. This campaign, which spanned from 2014 to 2019, involved phishing emails targeting victims in New York, including climate activists and financial firms critical of Wirecard.
Broad Impact Of Hacking Activities
The repercussions of Azari's actions were far-reaching. Hacked documents obtained from his operations were leaked to the press, influencing major investigations in New York and Massachusetts, particularly concerning ExxonMobil's knowledge of climate change. The case also shed light on BellTroX InfoTech Services, an alleged Indian hacking group, and its expansive operations as reported by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School. The extent of the hacking included over 28,000 personalized web pages for spear phishing, targeting a diverse group of victims from advocacy groups to hedge funds.
Personalized Attacks And Legal Consequences
Notable victims of Azari's hacking efforts included Matthew Earl, a UK investor critical of Wirecard, and journalists from prominent media houses like the Financial Times and Reuters. The sentencing of Azari, marking the first successful prosecution following Wirecard's collapse, also paves the way for further legal actions. Markus Braun, former chief executive of Wirecard, along with other executives, faces ongoing legal challenges. Azari's sentence includes a three-year supervised release and the forfeiture of over $4.8 million in illicit gains, underscoring the severity of his crimes and their impact on global financial and environmental discourse.
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