Iranian and Chinese governments directed and funded attacks, so why are Iranian and Chinese citizens being charged instead of the governments that directed their actions?
The indictment of seven Iranian hackers for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against financial institutions and hacking a dam was infuriating because it assigned blame to the wrong parties.
The real culprit didn’t go unmentioned in the indictment announced by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The indictment clearly states that the seven Iranians charged with criminal hacking worked for private companies that had been hired by various elements of the Iranian government to launch the attacks, which were perpetrated in 2012 and 2013.
According to the charges, the alleged hackers acted at the behest of the Iranian government and received logistical and monetary support from it. Reportedly, one of the people indicted received a waiver from mandatory military service because he was supporting the Iranian government by committing criminal acts.
What infuriates me is that there are many people within the Iranian government who are more complicit in the attacks than the people charged but were not indicted. This is cowardice. It is also a bad precedent.
I say that because it puts U.S. military personnel and employees of U.S. intelligence agencies at risk of facing similar charges for doing their jobs. The National Security Agency’s Tailored Access Office (TAO) is now widely acknowledged as being behind the...
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