Friday, February 13, 2015

Private Investigators Are Being Nailed for Hacking

Private investigators may be the newest front for federal prosecutors in cracking down on the hacker-for-hire business.

In the coming weeks, a private investigator in New York is expected to plead guilty to charges of paying a so-called hacker-for-hire firm to steal email passwords and credentials, said three people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no charges had been filed yet. The guilty plea would wrap up a nearly yearlong investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors in New York.

Separately, federal prosecutors in San Francisco on Wednesday announced the indictment of two private investigators and two computer hackers on charges that they illegally entered email and Skype accounts to gather information for matters they were working on for clients. Some of the illegally gathered information was intended to support a lawsuit, authorities said.

The identity of the private investigator in New York, who works for a small firm, could not be determined.