3 Iranian citizens charged in broad hacking campaign in US

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says three Iranian citizens have been charged in the United States with cyberattacks that targeted power companies, local governments and small businesses and nonprofits, including a domestic violence shelter.

The charges accuse the hacking suspects of targeting hundreds of victims in the U.S. and elsewhere, stealing data from their networks and demanding ransom payments to unlock and return the stolen information.

The case was filed in federal court in New Jersey, where a municipality in Union County was hacked last year.

The three accused hackers are thought to be in Iran and have not been arrested, but a Justice Department official said Wednesday the charges make it “functionally impossible” for them to leave the country.

Eric Tucker, The Associated Press