U.S. charges 3 Iranian citizens in broad hacking scheme

STORY: The defendants, named Mansour Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi and Amir Hossein Nikaein, are citizens of Iran who own or are employed by private technology companies in the country.

According to charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department, other targets included local U.S. governments, regional utilities in Mississippi and Indiana, accounting firms and a state lawyers' association.

While the criminal charges do not say whether the alleged hackers worked for the Iranian government, a separate U.S. Treasury Department statement said they were affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an Iranian intelligence and security force.