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U.S. blames Iranians for hacking against banks, New York dam

Posted On: Mar. 24, 2016 12:00 AM CST

(Reuters) — The Obama administration on Thursday announced the indictment of seven Iranian hackers for a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks on dozens of U.S. banks and a New York dam from 2011 to 2013.

The indictment, filed in a federal court in New York City, described the suspects, who live in Iran, as “experienced computer hackers” believed to have been working on behalf of the Iranian government.

At least 46 major financial institutions and financial sector companies were affected by the hacking campaign, according to the indictment.

At a news conference, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the seven Iranians caused tens of millions of dollars in damages. The alleged attack against the dam by Iranians could have been a clear and present danger to Americans, she said.

Justice Department officials released the indictment at a news conference in Washington in what is one of the highest-profile U.S. indictments against a foreign nation on hacking charges.

The broader indictment comes at a time of reduced tensions between the United States and Iran after a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.