US to charge Iranian citizens with bank and New York dam cyber attacks

Gavel and law book

The USA's Department of Justice is preparing to accuse several Iranian citizens of performing a series of cyber attacks against US banks and a New York dam, according to Reuters.

The attacks took place in 2012 and 2013, but it has taken until now for the indictment to be put together, the news wire claimed, citing anonymous sources.

Six Iranians will be charged in relation to unlawful access of computers and other unspecified crimes, the sources said, also claiming that the indictment will explicitly link the hacks to the Iranian government's previous administration.

An official announcement of the charges by US officials is expected within the coming hours.

The move comes just days after the FBI moved members of the Syrian Electronic Army to the top of its most wanted list for cyber criminals and two years after the US government first indicted foreign nationals - five members of the Chinese military - with hacking into American computers.

The hack on the dam and a spate of DDoS attacks on more than half a dozen US banks, thought to be Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, PNC Financial Services and SunTrust Bank, were carried out at roughly the same time and it has been suspected for some time that the two were linked.

According to Reuters, the attackers did not gain access to any of the dam's critical systems, such as floodgates, but this may have been because they were testing their abilities, rather than aiming to cause a crisis.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.