News / USA

    US Accuses 7 Iranians of State-Sanctioned Hacking

    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey hold a news conference to announce indictments on Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, at the Justice Department in Washingto
    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey hold a news conference to announce indictments on Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, at the Justice Department in Washingto
    VOA News

    The U.S. accused seven Iranians Thursday of carrying out a massive computer hacking scheme on behalf of the Iranian government to disrupt the Internet operations at 46 American financial institutions.

    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the hackers at two Iran-based computer companies worked for Tehran, including the Revolutionary Guard Corps. She said the seven experienced hackers coordinated a cyberattack campaign from late 2011 to mid-2013 on the banks, including some of the largest in the U.S. based in New York, that flooded their web sites with Internet traffic, crashed their servers and blocked customers from accessing their accounts.

    Lynch, the country's top law enforcement official, said the cyber intrusions cost the banks, such as JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, "tens of millions of dollars" to repair their company websites.

    In addition, the U.S. alleged that one of the Iranians hacked into the control system of a small irrigation dam outside New York and would have been able to control its water levels and flow rates, but for the fact that the dam was undergoing maintenance work at the time of the computer intrusion and had been shut down.

    Lynch described the computer attacks on the financial institutions as "relentless, systematic and widespread."

    "This case is a reminder," she said, "of the seriousness of cyber threats to our national security. And we believe that they were conducted with the sole purpose of undermining the targeted companies and damaging the online operation of America's free market."

    Despite Lynch's high-profile announcement of the case in Washington, it is unclear when or if any actual prosecution of the case against the seven Iranians might occur since they have not been apprehended and there is no indication that Tehran would turn them over to U.S. authorities. The U.S. has no extradition treaty with Iran.

    But Lynch said, "Fugitives don't remain that way forever."

    The seven accused computer workers were employed by ITSec Team and Mersad Company, the U.S. alleged, and carried out their hacking for 176 days. They were identified as Ahmed Fathi, 37 years old; Hamid Firoozi, 34; Amin Shokohi, 25; Sadegh Ahmadzadegan, also known as Nitr0jen26, 23; Omid Ghaffarinia, also known as PLuS, 25; Sina Keissar, 25, and Nader Saedi, also known as Turk Server, 26.

    A most wanted poster provided by the FBI shows the Iranian hackers wanted 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.
    A most wanted poster provided by the FBI shows the Iranian hackers wanted 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.

    The charges add to the contentious and complicated relations between Washington and Tehran.

    The U.S. and five other world powers implemented a nuclear agreement with Iran in January that blocks Tehran from manufacturing nuclear weaponry in exchange for ending sanctions that hobbled its economy.

    But in addition to the cybersecurity charges Thursday, the U.S. added two Iranian units involved in its ballistic missile program to its sanction blacklist, two weeks after Iran conducted missile tests that Washington called "provocative and destabilizing."

    The action freezes any of the assets under U.S. jurisdiction held by Shadid Nuri Industries and Shadid Movahed Industries, both units of the Shadid Hemmat Industrial Group that is responsible for Iran's ballistic missile program.

    On Wednesday, U.S. authorities unsealed an indictment accusing a consultant to Iran's United Nations mission, Ahmed Sheikhzadeh, of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran.

    Similar sanction-related charges against others were dropped in January as the nuclear pact was implemented and Iran freed Americans it had detained.  

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora