Iran hacks opposition Web sites, arrests cyber activists

Iranian government say sites were affiliated with US espionage networks

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps hacked into 29 Web sites affiliated with U.S. espionage networks, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.

"The hacked websites acted against Iran's national security under the cover of human rights activities," Fars reported. It did not disclose details of the attacks.

The 29 Web sites were identified in a statement (in Farsi) released on a Web site operated by the Revolutionary Guards.

The Internet has been used by Iranian opposition groups who contested the results of last year's elections there to organize demonstrations and share information about protests and arrests. The Revolutionary Guards is a military group that was founded after Iran's 1979 revolution. The group includes conventional army, navy, air force, and intelligence units, as well as the Basij paramilitary force and various business units.

Some of the hacked domain names listed by Fars pointed to a single Web site, hra-iran.org, which displayed a short statement on its main page: "This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later." Other domain names led to sites that were also unavailable.

Recently cached versions of the hra-iran.org Web site on Google show the site was operated by a group calling itself Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI). Information previously available on the site included a report on 400 Iranian opposition protesters that were arrested on Nov. 4, 2009, an Iranian holiday that marks the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a cached version of the site.

It was not clear whether HRAI had ties to U.S. intelligence organizations or whether the Fars report labeled them as such due to their apparent sympathy for opposition protestors. The Fars report did not tie any of the Web sites to a specific U.S. government entity.

The Fars report came one day after the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, reported that the Iranian government had disrupted several "U.S. backed cyber war networks" and arrested 30 people.

The networks were funded as part of US$400 million allocated to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to destabilize Iran, drawing on opposition groups including groups loyal to the deposed Shah of Iran, it said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags irancyberattackshacking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?