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hacker laptop

Two Iranian men have been charged with operating a long-running international hacking and extortion scheme in which they targeted public institutions—including the City of Newark—with ransomware, causing $30 million in losses, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment, unsealed today in Newark, charging Faramarz Shahi Savandi, 34, and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, 27, with fraud and conspiracy charges related to the creation of the SamSam Ransomware program. The pair remain at large, possibly still operating in Iran.

“The Iranian defendants allegedly used hacking and malware to cause more than $30 million in losses to more than 200 victims,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in announcing the charges Wednesday in Washington, D.C. “According to the indictment, the hackers infiltrated computer systems in 10 states and Canada and then demanded payment. The criminal activity harmed state agencies, city governments, hospitals, and countless innocent victims.”

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P.J. D'Annunzio

Reporter at the Legal Intelligencer covering public corruption, federal courts, and breaking news.

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