Politics Former U.S. operatives agree to $1.68M settlement over mercenary hacking charges
Overnight Hillicon Valley — Ex-US intel operatives pay to settle hacking charges
Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Three former U.S. intelligence and military personnel members settled with the Justice Department by agreeing to a massive sum due to allegations that they worked as mercenary hackers for the government of the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, a top official atThree former U.S. intelligence and military personnel members settled with the Justice Department by agreeing to a massive sum due to allegations that they worked as mercenary hackers for the government of the United Arab Emirates.
Three former U.S. intelligence and military personnel agreed to pay more than $1.68 million to settle federal charges over their alleged work as mercenary hackers for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia brought two counts each against Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke, including conspiracy to commit device fraud and computer hacking and conspiracy to violate arms export control regulations.
The defendants are accused of "knowingly and willfully" engaging in these activities and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve the charges.
Pope Francis to visit impoverished Roma quarter in Slovakia
KOSICE, Slovakia (AP) — Pope Francis is paying a visit next week to a neighborhood in Slovakia most Slovaks would not even think about going, which until recently even the police would avoid after dark. Francis will make the visit to the Roma community in the Lunik IX quarter of Slovakia’s second largest city of Kosice one of the highlights of his pilgrimage to “the heart of Europe.” Francis will be the first pontiff to meet the most socially excluded minority group in that Central European country.
The three men, all of whom previously worked as employees of U.S. intelligence or military agencies, have three years to pay off the agreed-to sums. They also must relinquish any security clearances and agree to full cooperation with the FBI and any other relevant departments on the case.
Reuters on the charges Tuesday, noting the three individuals were part of an operation known as "Project Raven" that assisted the UAE in spying on targets.
According to the court documents, the defendants worked for a UAE-based company from 2016 through 2019 that carried out hacking operations on behalf of the UAE government, including participating in "zero-click" operations in which a target's device could be compromised without them taking any action.
Seeking change, Slovak Roma settlement puts faith in Pope visit
Seeking change, Slovak Roma settlement puts faith in Pope visitKOSICE, Slovakia (Reuters) - For factory worker Milan Turtak, the smoke-blackened buildings, sidewalks littered with garbage and extension cords hooked between apartment windows highlight the poverty and years of neglect in his Roma neighborhood in eastern Slovakia.
Through these operations, the defendants were able to obtain and use sensitive credentials to access accounts on computers and phones in the U.S. and worldwide.
"This agreement is the first-of-its-kind resolution of an investigation into two distinct types of criminal activity," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko of the Justice Department's National Security Division said in a statement Tuesday.
"Hackers-for-hire and those who otherwise support such activities in violation of U.S. law should fully expect to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct," he added.
Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips of the District of Columbia emphasized in a separate statement Tuesday that "a U.S. person's status as a former U.S. government employee certainly does not provide them with a free pass in that regard."
Settlement reached in hush money case involving ex-Speaker .
A settlement has been reached in a hush money lawsuit against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) that involved decades-old allegations of sexual abuse.Lawyers reached the out-of-court settlement on Wednesday, days before parties were set to go to trial, according to The Chicago Tribune.Attorneys said the terms of the agreement will remain confidential, according to the Tribune.A judge in Kendall County ruled last week that the man who sued Hastert, whose identity has been unknown, would be identified publicly during the civil trial, the Tribune reported.Jury trial was set to begin on Monday in a courtroom in Yorkville.