Iran Riots; Instagram and WhatsApp Blocked
Anonymous Hacktivist Launch ‘OpIran’ War Against Iran
Iran has been in the news quite a lot lately, the terrorist state has been accused of supplying the Russian government with weapons to kill Ukrainian citizens, especially Ukraine’s soldiers defending their country from Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war. Another story from Iran that has been dominating headlines around the world is the wrongful death of an Iranian woman, aged 22.
Mahsa Amini was killed for not wearing her hijab to completely cover her hair. With the recent global headlines, Iran has seen a spike in cyber attacks against state media and government websites. In recent days, the Anonymous hacktivist group, which is a group of infamous hackers from around the globe have joined the protest through cyber warfare.
The spate of hacking assaults started with the country restricted access to social media platforms WhatsApp and Instagram. Iran’s mobile operators were mostly shut down, and both Instagram and WhatsApp servers were blocked by the country’s internet service providers, as revealed by an Internet watchdog group.
The ongoing daily riots show thousands of Iranians protesting in the streets. In addition, some Iranian women have brunt their hijab and cut their hair in protest. Thus, the Iranian government appears to have blocked access to the internet after protests erupt over Mahsa Amini’s murder.
The 22-year-old, who was shot dead by Iranian “morality police” officers was being detained for allegedly having some hair sticking out of her hijab. So far, the defiance shown by the Iranian people has gained traction, as it continues to spread throughout the country. It’s also reported that other women reportedly were shot as they protested Amini’s death. According to local reports, at least 35 individuals have lost their lives in the ongoing unrest.
Anonymous ‘IranOp’Hacking Campaigns
Amini’s passing has drawn the attention of the Anonymous hacking group, where the hackers have launched its “OpIran” campaign against the Iranian government. The hacktivist organization made clear their intention that the Iranian government is the obvious target of their hacking attacks.
Also, caught in the hacktivist’s cross hairs is the Iranian Legal Medicine Research Centre, this site is also inaccessible. The hacktivists gained access to the organization’s modest SQL database and changed the site’s content to messages crafted by the Anonymous hacktivist group.
Many cyber attacks have been annihilating the website associated with the Iranian government, all reported hacks have been attributed to the Anonymous gang. And along with the Iranian president’s website, another alleged target the Iranian news organization Fars News has been inaccessible for several days.
Local media sources have also been singled out as possible targets of the hacktivists. Posting messages on social media, the group stated that they are working on behalf of the individuals demonstrating. The prolific hackers associated with the Anonymous group have promised to hack even more smart services after effectively disrupting the state-run IRIB broadcaster.
The group has regularly urged Iranians to use the TOR deep Web onion gateway to access the Internet to get around the Iran government’s Internet censorship. A complete Instagram outage and the inability to send message files on WhatsApp have also been reported. The overall Internet connectivity is deteriorating, with WhatsApp completely restricted from the general public.
Meanwhile, Iran has not acknowledged the hacktivist campaign against it, or its involvement in disrupting social media access on the Internet. The most significant action by Anonymous recently is the war between Russia and Ukraine.
These ethical hackers have continually disrupted the Russian government websites. In addition, the hacktivists hacking campaigns include the Russian Space Research Institute, along with scores of Kremlin-backed media conglomerates.
The collective is known for using targeted cyber attacks to make political statements, mostly against corrupt goverments.