An unusual case involving an Israeli private detective showed the influence of India’s secret but thriving cyber-espionage industry.
An Israeli private detective who was detained in New York in 2019 on charges of being involved in a hacker recruitment scheme is demanding a plea deal, according to a letter filed by the defendant’s lawyer.
It is reported by The Jerusalem Post.
Federal prosecutors say jailed detective Aviram Azari orchestrated a series of hacking missions against U.S. companies based in New York through unnamed third parties, using fake websites and phishing messages to steal email account passwords.
While the indictment does not name the hackers, five people familiar with the case say Azari is accused of being linked to New Delhi-based BellTroX, which employs hackers to spy on politicians, businessmen and investors around the world.
According to court documents, Azari is charged with conspiracy to commit hacking, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Azari’s attorney, Barry Zon, wrote to Manhattan District Judge John Keltl on June 11 that his client now “has the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions about the plea and negotiations with the government.”
The letter asks for a postponement of the conference on the case, scheduled for August 9, “in order to have what we hope will be fruitful discussions on the guilty plea.”
The Israeli lawyer declined to comment further. The US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan also declined to comment.
Reuters previously reported that BellTroX has contracted Western private detectives working at the behest of law firms and wealthy individuals. BellTroX is one of several Indian firms that provide hacking services to clients around the world, the sources said.
Source: Souz News