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Computer hacking costs businesses around the world more than $300 billion a year, according to a 2015 study by the Grant Thornton consulting firm. (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Bloomberg) — Three Syrian men have been charged with launching high-profile cyber-attacks on U.S. institutions, including one incident that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by more than 140 points.

The trio, allegedly part of a group known as the Syrian Electronic Army, are accused of hacking into computer systems operated by Harvard University and news outlets including the Associated Press and Thomson Reuters Corp. over a two-year period starting in 2011, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

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