Freemasons, Malware “Eyepyramid”, and the Hacking of Foreign Nationals
Mario Draghi’s Email Was Hacked By A High-Ranking Mason
by Tyler Durden
Jan 10, 2017 6:01 PM
Earlier this morning we reported the bizarre story of how two hackers had managed to penetrate the email accounts of not only ECB head Mario Draghi, but also former Italian PMs Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti, as well as countless other highly placed politicians and executives. On the surface this may have been a non-event, especially if the hackers were unaware of the potentially market-moving content of the various emails hacked, and had no means of acting on the uncovered information.
However, as subsequent information revealed, there appears to be much more to the story, including a very surprise twist.
First, as Bloomberg reported, in addition to Draghi and Renzi, the extensive cyber-spying operation targeted more than 18,000 e-mail accounts, according to a court document. The aptly named operation “Eye Pyramid” (more on that shortly) revealed cyber-spying of institutions, state agencies, professionals, political figures and business people lasting for years, Italian police said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.
Police said two people were arrested: a nuclear engineer and his sister, both living in Rome “and well-known in Roman financial circles.”
The two were Giulio Occhionero, 45, and his sister Francesca Maria Occhionero, 48, who were charged with stealing state secrets and illegal hacking. Lawyers representing the two could not be immediately reached. According to the complaint, the alleged hackers acted “with the aim of making a profit for themselves or for others.”
The suspects’ arrest warrant issued by Rome pre-trial Judge Maria Paola Tomaselli states that Draghi’s e-mail at the Bank of Italy was hacked in the summer of 2016. Draghi served as governor of the Italian central bank from 2005 to 2011. An e-mail account belonging to Renzi was also hacked, the document says.
Among the others hacked is a list of who’s who in Italian politics: “There were tens of thousands of email accounts hacked, and among them were accounts belonging to bankers, businessmen and even several cardinals in the Vatican,” Roberto Di Legami, head of the specialised police cyber unit that conducted the investigation, told Reuters. Other hacker were Italian oil giant Eni SpA, multinational power company Enel SpA and technology company Leonardo Finmeccanica SpA, the court document shows. Political parties, law firms, politicians and ministries were also targeted.
The suspects tried to obtain confidential and sensitive data, especially on banks, at the ECB in Frankfurt and at the Bank of Italy in Rome, according to a person familiar with the investigation, speaking on the condition of not being identified by name. As Bloomberg add, “the two arrested are suspected of obtaining information on national security, serious illegal access to a computer system and illicit interception of computer communications in an investigation led by Rome prosecutors, an Italian police statement said.”
Thanks to a wide network of computers infected with malware called “Eyepyramid,” the pair allegedly obtained from a large number of victims “confidential information and sensitive data over many years” which was stored on U.S. servers, according to the police statement. Italian police, working with the Cyber Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have seized the servers, it added. An official at the U.S. embassy in Rome declined to comment on behalf of the FBI.
Draghi’s account at the Bank of Italy, where he was previously governor, and Renzi’s personal Apple account that he used while he was prime minister were among those infected by the malware, according to the arrest warrant cited by Reuters. Renzi’s official email as prime minister was also targeted, Di Legami said.
But back to the perpetrators, because that’s where the story gets even more fascinating.
Giulio Occhionero, a trained nuclear engineer and co-founder of investment firm Westland Securities, used a malware to infect the email accounts so that he could make “investments based on reserved information,” Di Legami said. In other words, profit using information extracted from the head of the European Central Bank, among others.