Industry News

Iranians charged with stealing and reselling US technology, violate economic sanctions

Two Iranian men have been charged with infiltrating a software company from Vermont that develops US defense technology that is “a proprietary software that assists users in, among other things, aerodynamics analysis and design for projectiles from bullets to GPS guided artillery shells,” announced the US Department of Justice on Monday.

Mohammed Reza Rezakhah, 39 and Mohammed Saeed Ajily, 35 in October 2012 allegedly hacked Arrow Tech, whose main product for sale is PRODAS (Projectile Rocket Ordnance Design and Analysis System). Arrow Tech normally sells the software at between $40,000 and $800,000.

Iranian businessman Ajily allegedly paid Rezakhah to infiltrate the network to steal the technology, to later sell it to Iran and other nations in violation of economic sanctions. According to the U.S. Munitions List of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), it is forbidden to sell the software outside the US without clearance from the US government.

The operation allegedly started in 2007, when a third party was also involved in the criminal conspiracy. Nima Golestaneh used two servers, one based in Canada and one in the Netherlands, to illegally gain computer access. Golestaneh pleaded guilty.

“MOHAMMED REZA REZAKHAH would use the servers Golestaneh acquired to conduct unauthorized computer intrusions so that the intrusions would be more difficult to trace,” reads the indictment.

Ajily allegedly sold the software to Iranian companies associated with military agencies and universities.

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.