Israeli private investigator questioned by FBI over hack allegations

The US investigation into cyber-mercenary activity is broader than previously known.

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An Israeli private investigator, Amit Forlit, who is wanted by the US over hack-for-hire allegations, had reportedly been questioned by FBI agents regarding his work for the Washington public affairs firm DCI Group, according to sources familiar with the matter. This revelation sheds light on a broader US probe into cyber-mercenary activities, suggesting a deeper investigation than previously acknowledged.

Forlit was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport on 30 April on cybercrime and wire fraud charges related to a ‘hack for hire scheme’ allegedly conducted on behalf of various clients. Following a procedural error by British authorities, he was released two days later but was rearrested on the same charges on Thursday. Forlit has since been released on bail, with conditions including surrendering his passport and remaining in the country.

Despite Forlit’s denial of commissioning or paying for hacking, his connection to convicted Israeli private investigator Aviram Azari, who was sentenced last year, raises questions. Forlit allegedly expressed concern about potential arrest by American law enforcement following Azari’s case. Additionally, Forlit is facing a separate lawsuit in New York federal court over allegations of email theft in 2016, although he denies any involvement. Court records suggest Forlit had business ties with DCI Group, further implicating him in the ongoing investigations.