Iranians hacked US companies, sent ransom demands to printers, indictment says

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bill Hinton)

Three Iranian nationals charged with hacking into US-based computer networks sent ransom demands to the printers of at least some of their victims, according to an indictment unsealed today. The ransom demands allegedly sought payments in exchange for BitLocker decryption keys that the victims could use to regain access to their data.

The three defendants remain at large and outside the US, the DOJ said.

“The defendants’ hacking campaign exploited known vulnerabilities in commonly used network devices and software applications to gain access and exfiltrate data and information from victims’ computer systems,” the US Department of Justice said in a press release. Defendants Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi, Amir Hossein Nickaein, “and others also conducted encryption attacks against victims’ computer systems, denying victims access to their systems and data unless a ransom payment was made.”

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