Israeli private investigator wanted for hacking in US is arrested in London | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

An Israeli private investigator wanted by the US for allegedly carrying out a cyberespionage campaign has been arrested in London.

Amit Forlit was arrested under an Interpol red notice at London’s Heathrow Airport as he was trying to board a flight to Israel, according to the US authorities. It is unclear when the arrest took place.

His arrest came after he was accused of “engaging in a hack-for-hire scheme” with an unidentified American PR firm, Amy Labram, a lawyer representing the United States, told a London court on Thursday.

Ms Labram added that the US allegations include that an unnamed Washington-based PR and lobbying firm paid one of Mr Forlit’s companies £16 million ($20m) “to gather intelligence relating to the Argentinian debt crisis”.

Mr Forlit is wanted in the US on three charges, including one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

An attempt to extradite Mr Forlit to the US was thrown out by a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday on a legal technicality, with the judge ruling that the extradition attempt could not continue because Mr Forlit was not produced in court within the timeframe required under British extradition law.

“He was not produced at court as soon as practicable and the consequences of that … he must – I have no discretion – he must be discharged,” Judge Michael Snow ruled.

Mr Forlit is also involved in a separate legal case in New York, where he is accused of computer hacking by aviation executive Farhad Azima.

Mr Azima, whose emails were stolen and used against him in a 2020 trial in London, is suing Mr Forlit and others in federal court in Manhattan.

Mr Forlit previously acknowledged retrieving Mr Azima’s emails but has denied hacking, claiming that he innocently stumbled across the messages “on the web”.


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