December 7, 2018
A U.S. grand jury indicted two Iranian nationals over claims they carried out a March ransomware attack against the city of Atlanta, crippling its computer systems and causing millions of dollars in losses.
Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammed Mehdi Shah Mansouri used ransomware known as SamSam to infect about 3,789 servers and workstations in Atlanta, the Justice Department said Wednesday in a release citing the indictment. The cyberattack took place from around March 10 until March 22.
During the assault, the hackers encrypted “vital city computer systems” and demanded ransom, paid in Bitcoin, to restore access to the files, according to the release.
The two men, who operated from Iran, were also indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, for a “34-month-long international computer hacking and extortion scheme,” according to the Justice Department. There were more than 200 victims, including hospitals, the cities of Newark and Atlanta, and the University of Calgary in Alberta.