Seven Iranian hackers broke into computers of dozens of U.S. banks, causing millions of dollars in damages, and tried to shut down a New York dam, the U.S. government said on Thursday in an indictment that for the first time accused individuals tied to another country of trying to disrupt critical infrastructure.
It said the seven accused were believed to have been working on behalf of Iran’s government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Those named live in Iran and the Iranian government is not expected to extradite them. There was no immediate comment from Tehran.
At least 46 major financial institutions and financial sector companies were targeted, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Wells Fargo (WFC.N) and American Express (AXP.N), the indictment said. AT&T (T.N) also was targeted.
The hackers are accused of hitting the banks with distributed-denial-of-service attacks on a near-weekly basis, a relatively unsophisticated way of knocking computer networks offline by overwhelming them with a flood of spammed traffic.
“These attacks were relentless, they were systematic, and they were widespread,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told a Washington news conference. Read more