On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against seven Iranians, charging them with a slew of hacking offenses against US banks, companies and other targets. The individuals were allegedly contracted by the Iranian government.

One of the attacks mentioned in the indictment is the breach of systems at the small Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook, New York in 2013. But the indictment describes a longer episode of activity, which allegedly lasted for 176 days and hit 46 financial institutions, including Bank of America, Capital One, and the New York Stock Exchange; some of the hackers also targeted AT&T.

The legal move has been described by officials as part of the US’s new strategy of pursuing and charging nation state hackers.

“In a new approach, we have unleashed prosecutors and FBI agents against national security cyber threats,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said during a press conference.

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