U.S. expected to charge Iran in network attacks on banks and New York dam

The Obama administration will formally charge Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of digital attacks in 2012 and 2013 on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, Reuters reported today. The charges are expected to be announced Thursday.

The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against about a half-dozen Iranians, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. It is one of the highest-profile U.S. indictments against a foreign nation on hacking charges.

It follows a landmark 2014 case in which a grand jury charged five members of the Chinese military with hacking into American computer networks and engaging in cyber espionage on behalf of a foreign government.

The charges, related to unlawful access to computers and other alleged crimes, were expected to be announced publicly by U.S. officials as soon as Thursday morning at a news conference in Washington, the sources said.

The indictment was expected to directly link the hacking campaign to the Iranian government, one source said. The banks will not be identified in the indictment due to fear of retaliation, the source said.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

"Exclusive: U.S. to charge Iran in cyber attacks against banks, New York dam – sources" [reuters.com]

In related reading today, this New York Times profile about Israeli cyberattacks on Iran.