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3 Iranian nationals are accused of ransomware attacks vs. U.S. victims

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice on Wednesday unsealed an August indictment of three Iranian nationals who officials said are behind a global ransomware conspiracy that has targeted a whole lot of corporate and government victims all over the world. 

The three individuals allegedly carried out the scheme for his or her personal gain, and never on the behest of the Iranian government, department officials said on a call with reporters. 

The defendants are Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi Aghda and Amir Hossein Nickaein Ravari, all believed to be living in Iran. None of them has been arrested, and officials admitted that U.S. law enforcement has few options available to detain them in person.

The lads allegedly defrauded a county in Wyoming,  regional electric power utilities in Mississippi and Indiana, a public housing authority in Washington state and a statewide bar association in an unnamed state. 

DOJ officials said they believed the variety of victims within the U.S. alone reached well into the a whole lot, with much more prone to be identified in the long run. 

The scheme relied upon BitLocker, a well-liked cybersecurity encryption product from Microsoft which is utilized by 1000’s of clients worldwide. 

Justice Department officials declined to detail how they were alerted to the person ransomware attacks, or specifically which of the organizations that were targeted reached out to authorities and which didn’t. 

It’s little secret that corporations targeted by ransomware attacks often decide to pay the ransom to the attackers as an alternative of alerting law enforcement out of fear that news of the attack will spook investors and customers.  

The Justice Department has struggled for a long time to persuade institutional victims of cyberattacks that they might be higher served by reporting the attack than by covering it up.

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