Three former US intelligence operatives who worked as cyber spies for the United Arab Emirates admitted to violating US hacking laws and prohibitions on selling sensitive military technology, under a deal to avoid prosecution announced on Tuesday.
The operatives - Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke - were part of a clandestine unit named Project Raven, first reported by Reuters, that helped the UAE spy on its enemies.
At the behest of the UAE's monarchy, the Project Raven team hacked into the accounts of human rights activists, journalists and rival governments, Reuters reported.
The three men admitted to hacking into computer networks in the United States and exporting sophisticated cyber intrusions tools without gaining required permission from the US government, according to court papers released in US federal court in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
The operatives and their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.