Iran condemns US charges against three Iranians over cyber attacks
Iran has condemned what it called false accusations levelled by the United States against three of its citizens for alleged cyber-attacks in the US.
In a statement, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanani, “strongly condemned” the US measures against “Iranians and companies on the false accusation of being involved in cyber-attacks.”
The Iranian official went on to say that “The US previously remained silent against numerous cyber-attacks against Iran.” He also accused the US of directly or indirectly supporting the cyberattacks against Iran.
He reportedly claimed that Iran was also targeted by cyber-attacks, particularly in 2010 when the “Stuxnet” virus, a malicious computer worm, believed to have been engineered by Israel and the US, infected Iran’s nuclear program.
Three Iranian citizens charged in hacking campaign
On Wednesday, the US justice department accused Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi Aghda, and Amir Hossein Nikaeen Ravari of targeting a domestic violence shelter and a children’s hospital. The Justice Department also accused them of targeting power companies, local governments and small businesses. The US said that the hackers targeted hundreds of entities in the US and around the world, including inside Britain, Australia, Iran, and Russia.
A separate US Treasury announcement of sanctions revealed that the three persons were part of a larger hacking group tied to Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The department said that between October 2020 and August 2022, these men attacked multiple targets in the United States.
FBI Director, Chris Wray, said in a separate statement that the three men engaged in a pattern of hacking and cyber-theft. The US state department also offered a $10 million reward for information on these men.
Iran-based hackers have been a focus over the last few years. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned 10 individuals and two entities affiliated with IRGC.