After the Department of Justice brought charges against seven Iranians for allegedly launching nation state-sponsored cyberattacks on U.S. entities, Iran is coming to the defense of its government.
Bloomberg reported over the weekend that, according to Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the U.S. “is not in any position to charge citizens of other countries, not least Iran’s, without providing any documentary evidence.” The statement was reportedly made to reporters and was provided by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency.
Last week, the DOJ confirmed that the individuals were charged by a grand jury in the Southern District of New York and are accused with launching an extensive campaign of DDoS attacks against 46 victims between late 2011 and mid-2013.
“In unsealing this indictment, the Department of Justice is sending a powerful message: that we will not allow any individual, group or nation to sabotage American financial institutions or undermine the integrity of fair competition in the operation of the free market,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at the time.
According to the DOJ, the attacks distributed by the accused individuals not only disabled victim bank websites but also barred customers from gaining access to their online accounts. The impacts of the attacks reportedly cost victims tens of millions of dollars in order to remedy the situations and mitigate the attacks on their servers.
The hackers are believed to have been acting on behalf of the Iranian government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but Iran is taking a firm stance that actions such as those reported are not on the country’s agenda.
“Iran has never had dangerous actions in cyberspace on its agenda nor has it ever supported such actions,” Jaberi Ansari explained. However, he did accuse the U.S. of being responsible for a series of cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program that put “the lives of millions of innocent people” at risk.