Federal authorities on Friday unveiled an indictment charging nine Iranians who were allegedly behind a "massive and brazen" cyber theft campaign on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The campaign targeted 140 universities in the U.S., 30 American companies, five government agencies and 176 international universities, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement. The alleged hackers are affiliated with the Mabna Institute, an Iran-based company, prosecutors said. They allegedly breached computer systems belonging to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the United Nations, and the states of Hawaii and Indiana, according to federal officials. All told, 31 terabytes of "academic data and intellectual property" were stolen from universities, prosecutors said. "For many of these intrusions, the defendants acted at the behest of the Iranian government and, specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps," Rosenstein said. "This case is important because it will disrupt the defendants’ hacking operations and deter similar crimes.” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said that the cyber attack was "one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted." The U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday that it was slapping the alleged hackers and the Mabna Institute with sanctions.
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