Two Iranian nationals were hit with criminal charges involving identity theft and pilfering credit card information after allegedly hacking into computers of online merchants and stealing their customers' personal and credit card account information, the US Department of Justice announced.
Arash Amiri Abedian, 31, and Danial Jeloudar, 27, were charged with aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, criminal conspiracy, and other charges.
Federal prosecutors say the two defendants were living in the Islamic Republic of Iran in October 2007 when they allegedly conspired to hack into victims' computers to steal credit card and personal information.
The two men used malware to hack into the merchants' systems and pilfer the credit card and personal information. They used the stolen information to purchase goods and services between 2011 to 2016, the DOJ alleges. Then in January, Jeloudar allegedly contacted one of the breached merchants and threatened to release all of the merchant's customers' credit card and personal information unless the merchant paid a blackmail fee in Bitcoins, the DOJ states.
Read more about the case here.