U.S. charges nine Iranians for global cyber attacks


The Department of Justice of the United States has charged and sanctioned nine Iranians and an Iranian company for starting a hacking campaign that affects more than 320 universities around the world, dozens of companies, and other departments of the U.S. Government like Department of Labor, United Nations, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; on behalf of Tehran Government. 
The Iranian company called the Mabna Institute started the campaign from 2013 to 2017 and targeted over 100,000 university professors with phishing links. Till now, they have been able to breach more than 8,000 accounts and stole a whopping 31.5 terabytes of data. 

The U.S. Treasury Department said that it is“one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

According to the DOJ, the stolen data cost US universities $3.4 billion to access and maintain. Other than universities, 36 private US companies, and 11 foreign-based companies were targeted by the hackers. 

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a news conference, officials “will aggressively investigate and prosecute hostile actors who attempt to profit from America’s ideas by infiltrating our computer systems and stealing intellectual property.” 

 The nine Iranian hackers will fear to travel outside Iran as they may face extradition in over 100 countries and an imposition of sanction may limit their business and financial transactions.

"Where we cannot apprehend individuals quickly, we will resort to different methods such as naming and shaming, sanctions and a lot of publicity," Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich said today. "We will keep at it because the FBI and our partners at the Department of Justice have a very long memory and the long arm of the law reaches worldwide."