WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is preparing to announce charges in a cyberattack on a small dam outside New York City, a case U.S. officials have linked to Iran, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
An announcement was expected Thursday, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name ahead of time and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The case stems from a 2013 cyber intrusion in which hackers targeted the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small flood-control structure in Rye Brook, about 20 miles north of New York City.
The identities of any defendants and the precise charges they would face were not immediately known Wednesday night.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said earlier this month that a Justice Department investigation had connected the intrusion to the Iranians. He said the act should be met with stronger sanctions.
“What were they doing? They were sending a shot across our bow,” Schumer said. “They were saying that we can damage, seriously damage, our critical infrastructure and put the lives and property of people at risk.”
The Justice Department in May 2014 indicted five Chinese military officials suspected of hacking into several major American companies — including U.S. Steel — and stealing trade secrets and confidential business information, though none of those defendants has been brought to the U.S. to face the charges.
That December, the Obama administration publicly accused North Korea of being behind a punishing hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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