Thursday 29 September 2016

Seven Iranians charged over cyber attacks on New York dam and dozens of banks

Published 24/03/2016 | 15:26

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (left) takes questions at a news conference to announce indictments on Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks in 2012 and 2013 on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, at the Justice Department in Washington March 24, 2016. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (left) takes questions at a news conference to announce indictments on Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks in 2012 and 2013 on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, at the Justice Department in Washington March 24, 2016. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Seven Iranians have been charged over a series of cyber attacks on a small dam outside New York City and on dozens of banks, US law enforcement officials said.

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The seven were charged in indictments unsealed and announced at a Justice Department news conference in Washington.

All seven worked for Iranian computer companies that did work on behalf of the Iranian government, the US said.

The attacks on the US financial sector from 2011 to 2013 disabled bank websites and caused tens of millions of dollars in losses, the charges say.

One of the seven is accused of gaining access to the control system of the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small flood-control structure in Rye Brook, about 20 miles north of New York City.

Although the individuals are not in American custody, officials said the goal is to put cyber criminals on notice that they cannot act with impunity.

"The message of this case is that we will work together to shrink the world and impose costs on these people, so that no matter where they are, we will reach them," FBI director James Comey said.

The Justice Department in May 2014 indicted five Chinese military officials suspected of hacking into several major American companies and stealing trade secrets.

And that December, the federal government linked a damaging attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment to North Koreans.

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