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Nine Iranians charged in massive hacking scheme

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Nine Iranians charged in massive hacking scheme

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department announced charges Friday against nine Iranians in what federal officials said was one of the largest state-sponsored computer hacking campaigns ever prosecuted by American authorities.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the nine stole data from more than 140 U.S. universities, 30 American companies, five federal agencies, and more than 176 universities in 21 other countries.

"Not only are we publicly identifying the foreign hackers who committed these malicious cyber intrusions, but we are also sending a powerful message to their backers, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Rosenstein said.

Federal investigators said the group had the backing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and stole 31 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from the U.S. targets — equivalent to about 15 billion printed pages.

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