Who’s behind the 2015 Hacking Team hack? According to a notice received by Guido Landi, one of the former Hacking Team employees that was under investigation for the hack, a 30-year old Nashville, Tennesee resident might have had something to do with it.
Landi received the notice from Italian prosecutor Alessandro Gobbis, which says he has asked the judge to terminate the investigation.
The document (obtained by Motherboard) also names one Jon Fariborz Davachi as a new suspect.
According to Italian daily news outfit Corriere della Sera, Davachi is a US citizen of Iranian origin, a car vendor from Nashville, Tennessee.
Allegedly, Davachi is the owner of the email address that was used to lease the server employed in the HT attack from a Dutch company, and is also the owner of the Bitcoin wallet from which the lease was paid.
Apparently, the Bitcoin in question has been bought with the remains of a prepaid card sent to a New York address, the home of a civil rights activist. The woman gave the card to a granddaughter, and someone by the name of Fariborz Davachi used it to buy Bitcoin and store it in the wallet.
Alessandra Del Corvo, a judge for preliminary investigation, then issued a legal request for US authorities to search the man’s house and seize his computers. At that point, Davachi admits to have bought the prepaid card but says he didn’t use it. Instead, he gave it to persons he claims he can’t identify because of his drug problem.
In spite of this “bizarre explanation”, the Corriere reports, the computers weren’t ultimately delivered to the Italian investigators because – the US authorities claim – there is no reason to suspect that the computers hold useful information.
Legally, the Italians have no way to force the US to hand over the computers, and that’s that. Corriere’s Luigi Ferrarella notes that the US authorities’ decision not to hand over the computer is difficult to understand, “except if one believes that the hacker is a subcontractor of a US security agency.”
Still, it’s good news for Landi and Maanna Mostapha, Alberto Pelliccione, Serge Woon and Alejandro Velasco – the rest of the former Hacking Team employees investigated for unauthorized access to an IT or telematic system and disclosure of “industrial secrets” (i.e. stealing HT source code) – who were effectively acquitted of the charges brought against them.
All that now remains for them to be free of this trouble is for Hacking Team not to appeal the judge’s decree.