US accuses two Iranian hackers of stealing information

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Two Iranian citizens have been indicted in the state of New Jersey (USA) for allegedly stealing sensitive information from computer systems in the U.S, Europe and the Middle East, sometimes acting at the behest of the Iranian government, according to the US Justice Department.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the defendants stole “hundreds of terabytes of data, which generally included confidential communications related to national security, the intelligence service of foreign policy, non-military nuclear information, aerospace data, information of human rights activists, financial information of victims and personal data as well as intellectual property, including information from unpublished scientific research. “

They worked for Iran

In a statement, New Jersey prosecutors, who identified the suspects as Hooman Heidarian, 30, and Mehdi Farhadi, 34, residents of the city of Hamedan, Iran, maintain that “in some cases, attacks by the defendants were politically motivated or due to Iran order“.

Specifically, on this issue they emphasize that they obtained “information on dissidents, human rights activists and opposition leaders. “And the Prosecutor’s Office adds in the note:” In other cases, the defendants sold pirated data and information on the black market to obtain private economic benefits. “

Criminal cyberattacks

For the Assistant Attorney General for Homeland Security, John C. Demers, the “rule of law in cyberspace cannot be imposed until governments refuse to provide a safe harbor for the criminal piracy within its borders. “

Specifically, he accused Iran, Russia, China and North Korea to allow such activities if the “criminals” agree to work for their governments.

The FBI confirmed that the defendants have not been arrested and noted that their names have been added to the FBI list with charges of participating in a campaign of massive cyber intrusion and coordinated.

The accusation document also points out that in 2013 the defendants launched a campaign against computer systems in New Jersey and in different parts of the world that affected numerous universities inside and outside the United States, as well as against political research institutes located in Washington, against an aerospace company and against NGOs and foreign governments.

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