Anonymous hacks Iranian government, steals 10,000 emails

By on June 3, 2011, 1:00 PM

The hacker group Anonymous has hacked into Iranian government servers, specifically targeting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group managed to steal 10,365 email messages and post them on The Pirate Bay as a 63MB file. Anonymous members even sent emails from the compromised servers to media organizations to prove they were in control of them.

The emails were originally released quietly by Anonymous on May 30, 2011 but the file containing them required a password to open. Eventually, the emails were posted all over the Internet and the password was made public. A post containing a list of links to the file stated the following: "We were able to archive some interesting information from the Islamic Regime. We need your help in keeping the data alive and available online!"

The emails were taken after hackers accessed the Iranian Passport and Visa Office email center. The majority of the stolen e-mail archive thus contains approvals and rejections for visas and passports. Some are visa applications for an "oil meeting.... many from China," according to a source cited by The Epoch Times, who added "it was a big raid," and that the Iranian government has been trying to cover up the incident for the past few days. "I have been told that they have had the site opened and closed on and off for days now," he said. "They have been behaving erratically." 

An Anonymous member said the hack was aimed more to damage the image of Iran in "both cyber space and the real world. I don’t know why the Islamic regime keeps providing money to their cyber army while they can't secure their most important mail server."

Iranian government websites have been under a steady stream of attacks by Anonymous, which launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack after the Iranian elections and subsequent protests in 2009. The second anniversary of Iran's 2009 elections will be on June 12, 2011, and Anonymous plans to mark it with its signature DDoS attacks again.




User Comments: 46

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Guest said:

Keep it up Anonymous!

example1013 said:

Guest said:

Keep it up Anonymous!

You have no clue what you're talking about.

Guest said:

These clowns need a new motto...im just sayin.

Guest said:

Is this a cyberwar, a hackers climax or what?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oooooh....Iranian Passport and Visa e-mails. How exciting!

******.

And they have a LONG way to go before they can claim the ultimate smack-down like the Israeli's did getting Stuxnet into Iran's nuclear program computers, servers and network.

Mindwraith said:

you people are missing the point. their objective is to make the Islamic regime look fragile and defenseless, which they have done. it doesn't have anything to do with the content of the emails, its irrelevant.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Mindwraith said:

you people are missing the point. their objective is to make the Islamic regime look fragile and defenseless, which they have done. it doesn't have anything to do with the content of the emails, its irrelevant.

So then this is kinda like the hacks on Sony? lulz

Prosercunus said:

Regardless of effectiveness or what you think about that Anon crap... anything that makes Iran look foolish is a positive.

Guest said:

The internet is not Fort Knox it's more like a giant piece of Swiss cheese with ya know like holes all in it. :)

Guest said:

It's amazing how quickly supposedly revolutionary groups can be co-opted to serve tptb,

Win7Dev said:

I think that if you have a decent sized bot-net of group of people willing to cooperate, you can easily hack into any server. Apache and Linux are the most common setups for webhosting, and neither are perfectly secure.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

We should keep in mind this is a country which takes witchcraft as a serious problem...

Guest said:

...and Win7Dev has no idea what he's talking about.

Guest said:

Guest @ 2:11 sounds like a tool. unless u have a full understanding of the geo-political landscape than STFU.

Guest said:

Correction:

Guest @ 1:11 sounds like a tool. unless u have a full understanding of the geo-political landscape than STFU.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

I think the Guest that had to make a correction when insulting the other should STFU. We aren't on "techspot" to talk about politics :P

Guest said:

Panda218, not every article is just about technology here & how much politics is involved in these types of articles.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

True, but they all include technology and generally the tech talk outweighs the political talk. I will withdraw my STFU as it was uncalled for, but it was fun trolling for those few moments ^^

ikesmasher said:

If they keep this up, Anonymous is going to get people killed. this isn't a game, this is REALITY.

Guest said:

I agree with ikesmasher.

When hackers hit governments and big money interests, they will eventually retaliate.

Guest said:

Why can't Anonymous have hacked Osama Bin Laden's computer and expose him as a porn addict?

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Guest said:

Why can't Anonymous have hacked Osama Bin Laden's computer and expose him as a porn addict?

Derr he was never directly online, remember the whole carriers with flashdrives? Then again they could have downloaded some for him but it would be kinda hard to track that.

as for this story, I dunno what to think of it...

Guest said:

Thanks Anonymous, any kind of help is much appreciated here. Can't wait till 12 June !!!

Guest said:

As a Persian,i have to say thank you anonymous :) hope to hear more from u :)

ikesmasher said:

EDIT: nvm. got a bit upset.

Guest said:

This is BS. Stop listening to CNN fabricated stories. The criminal regime in Iran is nothing but a response of the people to fight against american culture (read McDonalds/KFC/Bechtel/etc.). The Iranian regime imposes some harsh rules very similar to those imposed to population from a city under siege. I have two points to make:

- It is a criminal regime alright. But when you find that your youngsters are bending over to a silly American culture of fast-food and drugs instead of listening to a legitimate culture that spans over millenniums - what can you do?

- There are far worst regimes out there - but they don't have oil on their soil so an direct American attack would not be so lucrative as the one from Irak. Also other regimes have the nuclear weaponry and strong armies. When a life and death matter will arrive America will remain without its allies.

I am not Iranian - I am Romanian. We have American military bases on our territory. And we see how Americans are: they come in our restaurants without paying, rape and kill people.

Regarding Iran - I feel sorry to see the mighty Persian empire to live in such hard time. And since I mentioned that I am Romanian: to all US residents: may the faith of Teo Peter come to one of your relatives.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mindwraith said:

you people are missing the point. their objective is to make the Islamic regime look fragile and defenseless, which they have done. it doesn't have anything to do with the content of the emails, its irrelevant.

So by the this logic, Google (very recent example) is fragile and defenseless? Or in the past when US Govt. networks were penetrated they too were defenseless and fragile? The fact is, if you are not ahead of the game, you will get owned like this, no matter who you are.

Gues@t27

No matter in what times you live in, the 'imperial powers' of the time behave exactly the same way, so why one expect americans to behave any differently?

Guest said:

@ikesmasher

You dont define who i am. I'm a zoroastrian and zoroastrians were and are persians. You better read some books before posting. There are no differences between persian and iranian.

40000 years ago iran was called persia and now its called.its the same country.

Guest said:

@ikesmasher : Stop trolling and such craps.

Guest said:

Anon. is doing a great thing. They're trying to help the little guy. They might sometimes target the little guy for the lulz but hacking the Iranian government? That is REAL and they are doing it for REAL reasons. They're making a statement and they don't have to worry about diplomacy.

It's politics without all the bullshit and lies. They're trying to send a message to the Iranian government, the Iranian people, and the world.

I might not support everything Anon. does but I do support this.

mavis311 said:

I'm surprised to see Anonymous using their power for good.

I would enjoy seeing the Persian people overcome their oppression.

I would love the see the racists cast out.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Mindwraith said:

you people are missing the point. their objective is to make the Islamic regime look fragile and defenseless, which they have done. it doesn't have anything to do with the content of the emails, its irrelevant.

Um... like the US government being hacked by China? So the "Capitalist regime" is also "fragile and defenseless"?

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

@Archean & Darth Shiv

I agree with Mindwraiths point. It's easy to present that counter argument, but you're ignoring the context of which Mindwraith's statement applies to. Theocracies as well as other authoritative governments use control techniques that depend on their supremacy and perfection. They maintain their power because their propaganda instills the belief in their citizens that they are absolutely right and impervious to attack. Proving otherwise undermines the propaganda and hopefully helps the citizens realize the true nature of their oppressors.

The US never claims to be perfect, or impervious to attack. The US citizens can't be led to disbelief in their government's ultimate authority as its authority is derived from the citizens themselves, and by the very nature of the electoral/voter process can be changed as needed.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Guest said:

I am not Iranian - I am Romanian. We have American military bases on our territory. And we see how Americans are: they come in our restaurants without paying, rape and kill people.

I've spent 30 minutes trying to find any articles that support your claim and cannot. I doubt your claims and would like to see any evidence of this that you can provide. In todays day and age, anyone with a cell phone can record a video of such atrocious behavior and post it online, and there's many forums that would loudly boast such actions. Please note that I'm not saying that US military personnel have never behaved like this before, but if they can't get away with it in a country we're at war with, how can they get away with it in a peaceful ally nation?

[link]

What I did find is that since 1990 the US has given Romania $620 million in foreign aid.

[link]

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To some extent that may be true, but beyond that it isn't. How many in this 'democracy' knew about the illegal rendition flights? How can you differentiate gitmo from nazis (or other similar examples)?

Democracy (unless it is in its truest form) is just another mean of 'people control'. Unfortunately american democracy is held hostage to 'corporatocracy'. Remember the citi bank's internal memo's describing america as 'plutonomy' ? A substantial layer of propaganda through 'corporate media' blind us from seeing such glaring shortcomings. My point is, any system is as good as the people who are running it or are a part of it.

Note: By the way CIA ran thousands of rendition flights, and many of them ended up or went through Romania.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I'm unclear on which part you're finding untrue in my post. I know that the US isn't a shining example of virtue, and I said as much. But that doesn't change the difference in perception Iranian and US citizens would view the cyber attacks against their respective governments.

The rendition flights, while unjustifiable in my opinion, are not the type of actions that Guest was alluding to, as far as I can tell by his post. Reading his comment leaves the impression that every american is a stealing, raping, murdering criminal. The comment is absurd at face value, but I would be curious to know of any actual reported atrocities by those military bases. In absence of that, I'll just assume Guest is an angsty adolescent that needs to fill the attention void of his home life.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

On the contrary to what the guest was saying, I think there is hardly any difference between ordinary citizen of any nation state, they strive to make a decent living for their families, and want an honorable existence.

Issues lie in the way governments operate, and what means they use to influence or sometime 'engineer' an outcome or even public opinion. Regarding your views on Iranian Govt., I think in due course of time Iranians will find their own way, people in this part of the world are surprisingly 'less' inclined to follow whatever their governments/rulers want; for an outsider their 'slow response' is probably due to the fact that the previous Iranian regimes (Raza Shah and his cronies) were supported by west, so they don't want to fall in the same trap again.

secretassasin69 secretassasin69 said:

seems that anonymous are planning something big.

secretassasin69 secretassasin69 said:

Guest said:

Thanks Anonymous, any kind of help is much appreciated here. Can't wait till 12 June !!!

what'll be happening on 12 june?

ikesmasher said:

I have views, you have views. Lets not argue about that. but any educated person, regardless wether you like or hate what is going on in Iran, can not say that this is good for international relations.

Guest said:

what'll be happening on 12 june?
The second anniversary of Iran's 2009 elections will be on June 12, 2011
Probably it will be followed by protesting in Tehran and other cities + Blocking communication services such as mobile phones, sms, email, chat rooms, ...

I have views, you have views. Lets not argue about that. but any educated person, regardless wether you like or hate what is going on in Iran, can not say that this is good for international relations.
Yes, you are free to keep your relations with those murders.

Guest said:

I have views, you have views. Lets not argue about that. but any educated person, regardless wether you like or hate what is going on in Iran, can not say that this is good for international relations.
How selfish someone could be :S

ikesmasher said:

selfish? im using common sense. I don't like the fact any more then you do, but it is a fact.

Guest said:

I "support" anonymous purely cause they're a nuisance to authority, doesn't matter if that authority is Scientology, the US government, Sony or Iran, or if there's any clear philosophy or or aim to their behavior (there isn't). Doesn't mean I'm ignorant, just that I'm an *******.

Guest said:

I read an article on Wired about Romanian cybercrime. Am I to assume that every Romanian who can operate a keyboard is a criminal?

Please don't judge all by the acts of a few. I'm sure every country has its share of assholes.

Guest said:

Guest @ 03:06 PM - Don't be surprised if the US intelligence agencies are the ones using the disguise of "Anonymous".

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