French spy suspected of selling data on darknet
NANTERRE, France – An anti-terrorism agent in France's domestic intelligence service could soon face trial on charges of selling confidential data and fake IDs in the hidden corners of the internet, prosecutors say.
Investigators wrapped up their investigation last week into the alleged sales by "Haurus," the code name for the DGSI officer, now 33, who was arrested in September 2018.
His partner and 4 of his clients, including a private detective, have also been charged in the inquiry.
Investigators became suspicious after France's OCRIEST agency, charged with stopping illegal immigration, noticed offers of unusually detailed personal information and "Gold" quality copies of official documents on the so-called darknet, which offers users total anonymity.
Haurus charged 100 to 300 euros ($110-$330) or more for fake identification cards, driver's licenses, or birth certificates, as well as bank documents, phone records or GPS coordinates for tracking specific individuals.
"You provide the identity/registration number to copy, or your own requests, and I'll find what you need," read one message from Haurus on the Blackhand v2 forum, according to details of the investigation seen by AFP.
Haurus even touted a "starter pack" of a French driver's licence, an ID card and six blank cheques, for 500 euros instead of 680 euros.
An anonymous tip alerted investigators of a request to Haurus that eventually identified him as a DGSI agent.
An investigation found that 90% of the agent's internal information requests had nothing to do with his work, and that he and his partners were enjoying the high life, staying in ritzy hotels on numerous vacations.
More alarming, the Parisien newspaper reported that a former thief imprisoned on drug charges bought tracking data from Haurus on 3 people -- two of whom were later murdered, while the third survived an attempt on his life.
Haurus spent 5 months in prison before being released under judicial supervision.
His lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, declined to comment when contacted by AFP. – Rappler.com