USA v. Rafatnejad, Gholamreza, et al.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

[SDNY] Nine Iranians were charged with conducting massive cyber theft campaign on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The defendants were each leaders, contractors, associates, hackers-for-hire or affiliates of the Mabna Institute, an Iran-based company that, since at least 2013, conducted a coordinated campaign of cyber intrusions into computer systems belonging to 144 U.S. universities, 176 universities across 21 foreign countries, 47 domestic and foreign private sector companies, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the State of Hawaii, the State of Indiana, the United Nations, and the United Nations Children's Fund. Through the defendants' activities, the Mabna Institute stole more than 31 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from universities, and email accounts of employees at private sector companies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The defendants conducted many of these intrusions on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran's (Iran) Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of several entities within the government of Iran responsible for gathering intelligence, as well as other Iranian government and university clients. The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also designated the defendants and Mabna Institute for sanctions for the malicious cyber-enabled activity outlined in the indictment.