>> It was one of the most crippling cyber attacks ever unleashed in the United States. The hacking scheme known as SamSam, wreaking havoc across a swath of American companies and major city agencies for nearly three years. On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein unveiling the first indictments, naming two Iranians and sanctioning two others for launching the devastating attacks.
>> It involved a high-tech, sophisticated extortion plot.>> SamSam, one of a malicious class of computer viruses known as ransomware, locking victims out of their computers and forcing them to pay large sums to get back in.>> The defendants, allegedly, hijacked victims' computers and shut them down until the victims paid a ransom.
The conspirators collected more than $6 million in extortion payments and caused more than $30 million in losses.>> In 2016, this scheme forced Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles to turn away patients, and last year temporarily shut down Atlanta courts and the city government, targeting more than 200 victims in all.
The defendants, Iran-based Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Muhammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, both charged with conspiracy to commit wire frauds, and illegally transmitting demands related to protected computers.>> These defendants are now fugitives from American justice.>> It will be difficult for the US to hold them accountable because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Iran.
But officials aren't ruling it out.