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CIO of leading virtual private network is among three fined former US intelligence and military personnel over $ 1.6 million by the US Department of Justice to resolve hacking charges. ExpressVPN 's CIO Daniel Gericke, as first reported on Tuesday by Reuters , "is a former US intelligence agent and one of three members of Project Raven who worked as hackers for the United Arab Emirates, helping him spy " on enemies . ExpressVPN said its confidence in Gericke "remains strong.
The three defendants agreed to cooperate with the US authorities and pay the fine in exchange for a postponement of the charges,according to a Communique "from the Ministry of Justice . three have also lost their foreign and US security clearances and face future employment restrictions. The deal comes a day after ExpressVPN announced it had been sold as part of $ 936 million deal with former adware distributors Kape "Technologies , a company co-founded by a former Israeli surveillance agent and billionaire previously " convicted of insider trading .
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Learn more : What is Kape Technologies? What you need to know about CyberGhost VPN's parent company
Despite future employment restrictions, ExpressVPN said in an email to CNET that it still supports Gericke's position within the company.
"We know the key facts relating to Daniel's employment history from before he hired him, as he says handled them proactively and transparently with us from the start. In fact, it is his history and expertise that has made him an invaluable hire in our mission of protecting user privacy and security, ”ExpressVPN said, adding that the company has already benefited from the experience. 'history of Gericke as agent ofAmerican intelligence. .
"We were confident then and continue to be confident now in Daniel's desire and ability to contribute to our mission of enabling users to better protect their privacy and their security. He has demonstrated nothing but professionalism and commitment to advancing our ability to ensure the security and privacy of user data. Our confidence in Daniel remains strong. "
On Tuesday evening, Gericke's social media accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn appeared to have been removed from public view.
Project Raven, first exhibited "in 2019 , I involved the development and the "deployment of 'hacking and surveillance tools for the United Arab Emirates allegedly used to target American victimss and prominent activists who have spoken out against UAE's human rights record. The Emir of Qatar, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights activist in Yemen, was reportedly among the other targets of Project Raven.
In a Justice Department statement, Acting Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Lesko called the agreement "the first of its kind" to investigate two distinct types of crime.
"Provide licensed unlicensed export defense services in support of computer network operations, and a commercial company creating, supporting and operating systems specifically designed to enable others to gain unauthorized access to data from computers around the world, including in the United States, "he said." Hackers and those whofurther argue that such activities in violation of US law should be expected to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct. "