Prosecutors have lodged a complaint against a former air force officer for alleged espionage for Iran, Wednesday confirmed the Justice Ministry.
Monica Witt, a former Air Force counterintelligence officer, is accused of having returned to Iran in 2013, after leaving the military in 2008 after more than a decade of service and then working as a subcontractor to the military. defense.
Prosecutors said that the officer, who, according to the undisclosed indictment, had the highest level of secret clearance, revealed the details of a program of highly classified intelligence gathering involving an intelligence operation against a "specific target". Witt is also accused of disclosing the true identity of an US intelligence officer to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who is leading the cyber-operation in the country, after he stopped working for the government. the United States.
Witt, a former resident of Texas, made her first visit to Iran in 2012 to attend a conference at which prosecutors say she was recruited.
The FBI's deputy executive director for national security, Jay Tabb, said the indictments followed "years of investigative work," adding that his alleged acts "could seriously undermine national security ".
Once deemed missing by the FBI, the agency has since issued a warrant for arrest for Witt, who would still be in Iran.
Prosecutors also charged four other Iranian nationals accused of working for the Revolutionary Guard – Mojtaba Masoumpour, Behzad Mesri, Hossein Parvar and Mohamad Paryar – for cyber-crimes targeting US government agents who once worked with Witt.
Prosecutors said the "skilled cybercriminals", with the help of Witt, had targeted his former colleagues with malware, which allowed them to spy on webcams and keystrokes of the victims.
Officials said hackers "have tested malware and collected information on target computers or networks, and sent spearphishing messages to their targets." In one case, prosecutors said the hackers had created a fake Facebook account of a former colleague of Witt, which had resulted in several of the targets accepting friend requests from the fake account.
The government also imposed sanctions on two companies, including New Horizon, which hosts Witt's annual conference, for providing financial and technical support to the Revolutionary Guards. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he had engaged in "action" against malicious Iranian cyber-actors and covert operations that targeted Americans in their country and abroad, as part of our ongoing efforts to counter the Iranian regime's cyber-attacks, "specifically attempts to install malware to compromise the computers of US personnel.