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.