Notorious Hacker Claims To Be An “Investor”

Rajat Khare, a former cyber privateer, has become an intelligence technology tycoon.

Rajat Khare, once in charge of offensive cyber operations for the Indian government through his firm Appin Security, is quietly developing a global intelligence technology empire.

Rajat Khare recently completed his investment in the tactical drone business Asteria Aerospace through the Luxembourg private equity firm Boundary Holding. Asteria, which was founded by two former Rockwell Collins and Boeing engineers, Neel Mehta and Nihar Vartak, offers surveillance and intelligence drones to the Indian government, primarily the Border Security Force (BSF). Khare was formerly more engaged in cyber-space operations. He was the CEO of Appin Security, which handled email interceptions for the Indian government and corporate intelligence businesses involved in high-stakes commercial cases.

The Asteria investment is the Indian cyber industry star’s second in drones. He invested in DroneFence, a German business that developed software that can take control of a drone in flight, last year. Viktor Prokopenya, a Belarusian tech investor, and Said Gutseriev, the son of oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev, the president of Safmar Group, which controls Russneft, also invested in DroneFence at the same time.

Rajat Khare also invested in XRVision, a Singapore-based startup dedicated on facial recognition and real-time video analysis, through Boundary, which he co-founded with Schweta Khare in September. Guy Ron, a former Microsoft IT engineer who began his career in the Israel Defense Forces’ cyber research teams, and Yaacov Apelbaum, an expert in “ethical hacking,” launched XRVision.

Boundary bought Wynyard in 2017, a company that specialises in criminal data analysis and cybercrime for law enforcement. One of its clients is the Indian government. It was originally based in New Zealand, but its current owners transferred it to California.

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Khare co-founded Prophecis Technologies, a financial data mining company for traders, with his brother Anuj Khare, who runs XIRS Venture in the United States.

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Khare founded Prophecis in 2008 with Bhavya Arnav, who was working at the time for Appin, Khare’s previous company that provided technical support for Prophecis’ launch.

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Appin and Khare were the first in a long line of former Appin Security executives to move on. Tarun Wig and Abhishek Sharma, both former Appin executives, formed the pentesting firm Innefu. Former Appin Technology Lab students Amar Lverma and Chirag Goyal have started their own offensive cyber-security firm, Bulwark CyberX, which works with Indian intelligence services. Another firm that hires engineers from Khare’s initial startup is Phronesis Corp Intelligence Services, which supplanted Appin as the Indian government’s cyber-offensive (IOL 806).

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