Seven alleged Iranian hackers were charged in a series of cyberattacks against banks and a small dam in Rye Brook, according to CBS.
Those charged are experienced hackers employed by computer security companies working on behalf of the Iranian government, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.
Hamid Firoozi, 34, is accused of gaining access to the controls of the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small flood-control structure in Rye Brook. Lynch said the dam was undergoing maintenance at the time of the alleged intrusion and had been disconnected from the system.
“But for that fact, that access would’ve given this defendant the ability to control water levels, to control flow rates — an outcome that clearly could’ve posed a clear and present danger to the public health and safety of Americans,” Lynch said.
CBS reported it was still a mystery Thursday why the small Bowman Avenue dam tucked into the woods of Westchester County became the target of Iranian cybercriminals. But Lynch said it was one of 56 systems targeted in the U.S. – most of them banks.
“Prosecutors said Firoozi was able to get access to information about the gate for the dam and the water levels in the Blind Brook, but he wasn’t able to control them. The reason was that the gate happened to be offline for maintenance at the time.”