An Iranian man holding US citizenship and Canadian permanent residence was arrested by US authorities in Seattle on Friday for allegedly attacking companies and news outlets from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Identified as 37-year-old Kamyar “Andy” Jahanrakhshan, the man’s goal was to remove online evidence associated with his criminal past as a fraudster, by flooding with traffic the websites of media outlets responsible for posting the content and pretending to be part of the Anonymous hacker group.
Between 2015 and 2017, while hiding behind a number of aliases, Jahanrakhshan allegedly launched DDoS attacks on a number of businesses and made hundreds of threatening calls and email threats to companies including Fairfax Media, Leagle.com and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). When that proved unsuccessful, he moved on to bomb and death threats.
“We are very pleased that the person has been located and charged and our staff who have had to put up with the harassment can spend their time on better things,” a Fairfax Media spokesperson said.
Jahanrakhshan allegedly used false bank cards to target banks in Australia, England, France, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, and made expensive purchases in his real name. In approximately seven months in 2008, the scammer spent $140,000 on a 2006 Sea Ray Sundancer 300 boat, and approximately $270,000 on three BMWs, two Mercedes Benz cars, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade and a 2008 Lexus RX350.
Jahanrakhshan was first arrested in 2009 in Canada following a “high-speed boat chase,” then again in 2011, while living in North Vancouver, he was found guilty of fraud by the Supreme Court in British Columbia and sentenced to six months in prison for impersonating a Canadian officer and obstruction of justice. Authorities brought 21 charges, including obstructing a police officer, obstructing justice, impersonating a Canadian officer, fraud, possession of stolen property and stolen credit cards.
A close cooperation between the FBI, the Toronto Police Department and the Australian Federal Police led to the arrest of Friday.