The US on Friday charged nine Iranians with conducting an extensive, wide-ranging hacking campaign against the US on behalf of Iran’s military.
All nine were hired by or in some way affiliated with the Mabna Institute, a company that contracts with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced. Since 2013, he said, Mabna has hacked 144 American universities, 47 companies around the world, the United Nations, and several US government targets, including the Department of Labor and the states of Hawaii and Indiana.
The charges were announced alongside sanctions from the Treasury Department, and signal the Trump administration taking a harder line against Iran, less than two months before the US will have to certify whether or not Iran is complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Obama-era plan to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Trump has repeatedly said he intends to pull out of the deal, and has pressured European allies to join him.