Foreign Policy Digital

Meet ‘Charming Kitten,’ the Iranian Hackers Linked to Air Force Defector

Monica Witt fled to Iran and was indicted for espionage—alongside an Iranian hacking luminary.

When U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment this week revealing that Air Force intelligence officer Monica Witt had defected to Iran and revealed top secret information, the news sent a shockwave through Washington. But Witt wasn’t the only person in prosecutors’ crosshairs: Also indicted were top Iranian hackers, charged with targeting U.S. intelligence officials for espionage.

The inclusion in the indictment of one notorious hacker, Behzad

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