An Iranian group of “hacktivists” gained access to Iranian Foreign Ministry servers and leaked a variety of data before defacing the ministry’s website.
The group, called GhyamSarnegouni, translated as “Rise to Overthrow,” announced on its website Sunday that it is responsible for taking down websites belonging to Iran’s foreign ministry. The group also leaked a variety of data, including identification documents, ministry correspondence, phone numbers and names of more than 11,000 ministry employees, according to a report by Iran International.
Iran’s foreign ministry’s official website went down until late Sunday morning, displaying a message saying it was “undergoing scheduled maintenance and updates”.
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On Sunday, versions of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website in Dubai, UAE, Monaco, Germany and Seoul, South Korea were hacked with a message aimed at Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Death to Khamenei, Hail Rajavi,” reads the message.
Rajavi is likely referring to the missing leader of the Iranian exile group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq or his wife Maryam, who has become the group’s public face, according to the Associated Press.
“There is a great revolution in Iran, the revolt will go as far as the demolition of the palace of oppression”, continues the message.
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Hacking groups have increasingly targeted the websites and services of official government agencies since anti-regime protests began sweeping the country last year, including the hacking of more than 5,000 government security cameras and 150 sites Web belonging to the local government of Tehran. Hackers also managed to hack into Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency in October last year.
Documents obtained in the latest hack revealed correspondence between Iran and European officials over a proposed prisoner swap of Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi, who is being held in Belgium, for Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, according to Iran International.
Assadi is serving a 20-year sentence in Belgium for his role in plotting a bomb attack against an Iranian resistance group gathered near Paris in 2018. Vandecasteele was arrested by Iranian security forces in 2022 and faces charges of ” espionage and cooperation with the United States”. , money laundering and smuggling $500,000 out of Iran.”
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Vandecasteele was sentenced in January to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes on charges that the Belgian government described as “arbitrary”.