Police arrests the siblings that hacked Renzi, Draghi, Monti and the Italian elite

OLIVIER HOSLET

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (L) chats with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (R) during the second of European Union head of states summit in Brussels, Belgium, 29 June 2012. At the time, the two men were already being spied upon for two years.

For more than five years, Italy was at the fingertips of Giulio and Maria Occhionero


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Italian police arrested two siblings for hacking 18,000 email accounts, including those of Mario Draghi, Matteo Renzi, Mario Monti, cabinet ministers, public servants, bankers, businessmen, Vatican cardinals, unionists, and the grand master of Italy’s biggest Masonic Lodge, Reuters reports.

The most high-profile prize for the hackers was access to Mario Draghi’s account at the Bank of Italy and Renzi’s personal Apple account. The two unsuccessfully targeted Draghi’s European Central Bank account and Renzi’s official account as Prime Minister.

Giulio Occhionero, 45, and Francesca Maria Occhionero, 48, were detained on Tuesday for stealing state secrets and illegal hacking. Giulio Occhionero is a trained nuclear physicist and a high-ranking member of the Masonic lodge.

The data they stole were kept in a server in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Prior Lake, Minnesota. The FBI has seized the data that will be shipped to Italy.

The head of the Italian cyber police unit, Roberto Di Legami, said that the Occhionero siblings used the information they mined to make investment decisions. There is no sign of the two siblings were also involved in espionage on behalf of another state.

According to the arrest warrant, the two used a malware called EyePyramid. In some of the accounts, they monitored, the siblings installed a keylogger, which allowed them to monitor every keystroke.

The investigation began following the discovery of an infected email in April 2016, but the siblings appear to have been operating since 2010.

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