Justice Dept Indicts Seven Iranians Over Hacking

Accuses Iranian Govt of Being Behind Incidents

As expected, the US Justice Department today announced the indictment in absentia of seven Iranian citizens, who they accused of being behind the 2012-2013 hacks targeting several US banks, as well as a small Long Island dam.

The indictment itself is full of allegations of Iranian government involvement, claiming the companies the seven hackers worked for had contracts with parts of the Iranian government. There was, however, no actual evidence offered on any of these claims, either that the companies were working for the Iranian government in general or were launching the hacks on their behalf.

When the hacks first happened, US officials blamed the Iranian government, saying it was probably revenge for growing economic sanctions against them. Years later there’s never been any public disclosure of evidence, but repetition of the claim seems to have gotten the indictment to the point where they don’t feel like they need to back up what they say.

And it’s unlikely to matter at any rate, as all seven men are believed to be in Iran, none are ever believed to have been to the US, and Iran certainly isn’t going to extradite them. Justice Department officials said it was still worth indicting them, however, to keep them “looking over their shoulders” in the event they ever go on a vacation outside of Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.