This Mexican businessman was charged for selling phone interception tools and spyware to companies and government agencies in Latin America

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reported that Mexican businessman Carlos Guerrero pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell and use hacking tools while serving as director of a commercial consortium he also owned. Between 2014 and 2017, Guerrero negotiated the purchase of various hacking, espionage and geolocation tools developed by firms based in Italy and Israel to later resell them to other entrepreneurs and even to representatives of the Government of Mexico.

The defendant marketed all sorts of tools and software solutions, including WiFi blockers and interceptors, IMSI receivers, spyware and other tools to hack messaging services such as WhatsApp to sell to potential customers in Mexico and the United States. According to the DOJ, many of its clients were politically and financially motivated.

In addition to the sale of these solutions, the defendant himself used some of the tools he purchased to intercept phone calls and spy on the emails of a rival trade consortium from Baja California, Mexico, in a deal costing nearly $25,000 USD.

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said, “This guilty plea will help stop the proliferation of digital tools used to compromise the safety of U.S. and Mexican citizens.” The prosecutor also reiterated his commitment to the detection and interruption of any cybercriminal operation in collaboration with the rest of government agencies.

So far it is unknown which companies and government agencies bought the software sold by Guerrero and which are the companies that sold these tools to the defendant. More information could be revealed when the case is closed. Guerrero is still waiting to hear his sentence.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.