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Sat, July 20

2 Iranian hackers charged in US ransomware scheme

Prosecutors say Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri created ransomware that encrypted data on the computers of more than 200 victims. The government alleges the hackers specifically targeted public agencies. (AP image from video)

Prosecutors say Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri created ransomware that encrypted data on the computers of more than 200 victims. The government alleges the hackers specifically targeted public agencies. (AP image from video)

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says two Iranian computer hackers have been charged in connection with multimillion-dollar cybercrime and extortion scheme that targeted U.S. government agencies and businesses.

Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri were charged in an indictment unsealed Wednesday in New Jersey.

Prosecutors say the two men created ransomware that encrypted data on the computers of more than 200 victims. The government alleges the hackers specifically targeted public agencies.

The victims included the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey. Authorities say the hackers were able to make about $6 million.

Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, says the scheme was a “dangerous escalation of cybercrime” because it targeted public institutions.

The two men remain fugitives and are believed to still be in Iran.

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