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Iranians indicted in cyber attack in Atlanta



Two Iranian citizens have been indicted for a string of computer attacks across America, including the March assault on computer systems in the city of Atlanta, according to an FBI announcement Wednesday. morning.

The Atlanta cyberattack has caused a multitude of problems with the city's computer systems and could cost taxpayers $ 17 million, according to a report. US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the indictment also accused the same defendants of committing a similar attack on the city of Newark, New Jersey. and some 200 other victims, including hospitals and health care organizations.

VIDEO: More on the Atlanta cyberattack

The attack paralyzed many of the city's key departments, shut down the online payment portal of Watershed Management, erased the Atlanta Police Department's dashcam video archive, and the city's municipal court system fell into chaos.

The defendants, Faramarz Shahi Savandi, 34, and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, 27, reportedly collected some $ 6 million from various victims. Officials declined to say whether Atlanta was paying a ransom.

The defendants, who may still be in Iran, are not in detention.

The FBI said the attacks were part of an increase in such activities by Iran, but officials said no involvement of the country's government.

The defendants used what is called a ransomware to turn off the computer systems and then demand payments to restore them, according to the federal indictment filed in Newark.

"According to the indictment, hackers infiltrated the computer systems of 10 states and Canada and then demanded payment," Rosenstein said. "Criminal activity has hurt state agencies, municipal governments, hospitals and countless innocent victims."

PRIOR COVERAGE:


In June, Atlanta announced that it had largely recovered from the March attack, but the Atlanta Police Department reported losing "years" of dashcam video .

The indictment, which counts six counts, blames the defendants for using a program called "SamSam Ransomware", a hacking and extortion program with a duration of 34 months. He was able to forcefully encrypt the data on the victims' computers and lock them.

Men are accused of seeking victims who would be most vulnerable and risk losing the most by being attacked.

Among the more than 200 victims mentioned by the FBI were hospitals, municipalities and public institutions. In addition to Atlanta and Newark, other victims were: the port of San Diego, California; the Colorado Department of Transportation; University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and six health-related entities: the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California; Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kansas; Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, more commonly known as LabCorp, headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina; MedStar Health, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland; Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital, now called OrthoNebraska Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Check back on ajc.com to learn more about this story in development.


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