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U.S. Charges Two Iranians With Hacking, Credit Card Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that two Iranian nationals have been charged with credit card fraud and computer hacking. They were indicted in Columbia, South Carolina, where the FBI’s local cyber squad investigated the case.

Arash Amiri Abedian, 31, and Danial Jeloudar, 27, both believed to be living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, allegedly used hacking and other methods to steal payment card data and other information which they used to obtain money, goods and services from victims in the United States and elsewhere.

According to authorities, between 2011 and 2016, Abedian used malware to capture credit card data and other personal information provided by individuals on certain merchants’ websites. He used the information to steal identities and obtain various goods and services.Arash Amiri AbedianDanial Jeloudar

Investigators determined that, in February 2012, Abedian sent Jeloudar roughly 30,000 payment card records. Jeloudar later used stolen card data to acquire equipment, servers and web hosting services from a company in South Carolina.

Jeloudar is also said to have used stolen customer information to extort a California-based merchant. He threatened to leak the data unless the company made a Bitcoin payment. He also threatened to tell the company’s customers that their information had been compromised and launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the merchant’s website.

Abedian and Jeloudar have been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. They have been added to the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted list, but no reward has been offered for information leading to their arrest.

Abedian and Jeloudar are not the only Iranians charged in the United States with cyber crimes. Last year, the Justice Department announced charges against seven suspects believed to have launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on U.S. banks.

Last month, two Iranians were indicted in the U.S. for hacking a defense contractor and stealing sensitive software used to design bullets and warheads. They allegedly sold the stolen software to Iranian universities, the military and the government.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.