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Italian Siblings With Finance Ties Arrested in Bizarre, Masonic-Themed Hack

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Italian siblings Giulio Occhionero and Francesca Maria Occhionero (45 and 49, respectively) are currently sitting in separate Italian jails after the brother and sister were arrested for a high-level hack, AP reports. The siblings allegedly accessed (and attempted to access) data from, among other targets, former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, president of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi, several former members of Italy’s tax police, and a Vatican cardinal. (An anonymous source said there was no evidence that the European Central Bank was ever breached.) As many as 18,000 usernames and 1,800 passwords were also reportedly accessed.

The pair co-founded a small but well-known Roman investment firm, Westlands Securities SpA, at which both were still working at the time of the arrest. It’s been speculated that the hacks were intended to uncover information, but the possibility of an outlandish conspiracy theory is more fun: The hacking reportedly occurred over several years and was marked by “Masonic overtones,” AP also reported; Giulio Occhionero was a “high-ranking member of a Masonic lodge” and certain lines of code in their software included phrases like “Pyramid Eye.” Upon discovering the hackers’ files, officials even found a category labeled “Bros,” including information on people allegedly also members of the society. Dan Brown, are you reading this? Siblings? Potential Illuminati? This story writes itself and I’m sure you could find somewhere to shove Tom Hanks in there too.

As for their downfall, the Occhionero siblings were caught after “a security manager at a government office dealing with computer security received an email from a law office he didn’t recognize.” Tracing the IP address of the “firm” (fake) helped ultimately lead officials to the hackers. Robert Di Legami, director of an Italian police division devoted to cybercrime, told the AP, “We haven’t registered any evidence of extortion activity, or attempts to (use hacked data) to obtain influence.” Silver lining, I guess.

Italian Siblings With Finance Ties Arrested in Bizarre Hack