A Mexican businessman identified as Carlos Guerrero has pleaded guilty to selling spyware/hacking tools in a federal court, the US Justice Department (DoJ) has confirmed.
The accused owns multiple businesses in Mexico and the USA. Guerrero’s clients included the Mexican state governments of Durango and Baja and private/commercial firms.
According to DoJ, Guerrero purchased the tools, including signal jammers, IMSI catchers, StingRays, wireless network interception tools, and WhatsApp messages hacking tech, from Italy and Israel. He sold them to clients in Mexico and the USA. Guerrero pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell the abovementioned tools.
The 48-year-old Chula Vista, California, and Tijuana, Mexico resident appeared in a federal court in San Diego. The prosecution alleged that he owned multiple companies registered in his home country and the USA. These companies were used as sales brokers to deal in surveillance and interception tools.
The prosecution accused the Mexican entrepreneur of brokering sales of interception as well as selling spyware to the Mexican government and private clients who then used them for personal and commercial gains.
More IMSI, StingRay news on Hackread:
- New tool detects fake 4G cell phone towers
- Database of 176 million Pakistani mobile phone users sold online
- This New Service Pinpoints Every Fake Cell Tower Spying On You
- SnoopSnitch — An App That Detects Govt’s Stingray Mobile Trackers
- Cellular networks flaws expose 4G & 5G devices to IMSI capturing attacks
According to DoJ’s press release, Guerrero was also accused of facilitating a mayor in Mexico to obtain unauthorized access to his rival’s iCloud, Hotmail, and Twitter accounts. In another case, a sales representative in Florida’s phone and email records were hacked, and he had to pay $25,000 to reclaim the data.
Moreover, he also used the tools to intercept calls of his rival residing in Mexico and South California. Guerrero used his company Elite by Carga to import surveillance tech and hacking tools from little-known firms in Israel, Italy, and other countries.
The accused worked as a distributor for an unidentified Italian firm between 2014 and 2015. The indictment refers to that firm as Company A. According to prosecutors, Guerrero also sold geolocation tools.
Carlos Guerrero faces a maximum sentence of five years and a $25,000 fine.