Feds indict 3 Iranian hackers who held businesses, governments for ransom

Federal officials announced they have indicted three Iranian men accused of hacking hundreds of companies and local governments worldwide – including some in New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Sep 14, 2022, 9:01 PM

Updated 638 days ago

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Federal officials announced they have indicted three Iranian men accused of hacking hundreds of companies and local governments worldwide – including some in New Jersey.
Officials said that there is no indication that the cyberattacks are the work of the Iranian government. Instead, it is believed that the trio were “soldiers of fortune.” Among the targets were a New Jersey accounting firm and local township government.
"The defendants took advantage of vulnerabilities in the victims' computer systems. That got them in the door…even if the victims wanted to kick them out, they could remain,” says New Jersey U.S. Attorney Phil Sellinger.
Sellinger said the attackers would announce themselves through their victim’s printer and demand funds in bitcoin or else they would sell the data they stole.
Some of the victims complied and paid. The FBI is not identifying the companies, including the ones in New Jersey. But the bureau says the victims were in the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Russia and even in Iran itself.
The FBI was tight-lipped about how it cracked the case, but a senior Justice Department official says some of the companies did come forward and reported they were victimized.
If the hackers are apprehended and brought to trial, they would face up to 10 years in prison on the most serious charges.
A $10 million reward is being offered for information leading to the suspects' capture.


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