CIO of Popular VPN Helps Hacker

It was recently reported that the CIO of a popular VPN company, ExpressVPN, helped the United Arab Emirates hack into personal computers and phones from around the world.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) of ExpressVPN, Daniel Gericke, and a few others are being fined over $1.6 million by the United States Department of Justice for hacking-related charges.

According to the US Justice Department, ExpressVPN CIO Daniel Gericke and two other individuals worked as “hackers for hire” for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assist with “zero-click” hacking attacks.

The official press release from the U.S. Justice Department stated the following:

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“The defendants worked as senior managers at a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)-based company that supported and carried out computer network exploitation operations (hacking) for the benefit of the U.A.E government between 2016 and 2019. These services included the provision of support, direction, and supervision in the creation of sophisticated “zero-click” computer hacking and intelligence gathering systems.”

In other words, these three helped the UAE obtain unauthorized access to computers, phones, and other internet-connected devices around the world, including the United States.

What’s most interesting about this story is that it got the attention of Edward Snowden, who commented on the story:

After hearing what happened, Snowden is now urging people to no longer use ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN then followed up not denying any of these claims that its CIO was in fact involved in these hacking reports.

In an official press release from the ExpressVPN website, they stated the following:

“We’ve known the key facts relating to Daniel’s employment history since before we hired him, as he disclosed them proactively and transparently with us from the start. In fact, it was his history and expertise that made him an invaluable hire for our mission to protect users’ privacy and security. To be completely clear, as much as we value Daniel’s expertise and how it has helped us to protect customers, we do not condone Project Raven. The surveillance it represents is completely antithetical to our mission.”

Overall, it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out with ExpressVPN, CIO Daniel Gericke, and any further fines/charges involved.

We will keep our visitors updated with any further news on this story as it is released.

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