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U.S. charges, sanctions Iranians for global cyber attacks on behalf of Tehran

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WASHINGTON – The United States on Friday charged and sanctioned nine Iranians and an Iranian company for attempting to hack into hundreds of universities worldwide, dozens of companies and parts of the U.S. government, including its main energy regulator, on behalf of Tehran’s government. The cyber attacks, beginning in at least 2013, pilfered more than 31 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from 144 U.S. universities and 176 universities in 21 other countries, the U.S. Department of Justice said, describing the campaign as one of the largest state-sponsored hacks ever prosecuted. The U.S. Treasury Department said that it was placing sanctions on the nine people and the Mabna Institute, a company U.S. prosecutors characterized as designed to help Iranian research organizations steal information.

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