[ISN] Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:03:52 -0500 (CDT)

By Noah Shachtman
Danger Room
June 15, 2009

While demonstrators gather in the streets to contest Iran’s rigged 
election, online backers of the so-called “Green Revolution” are looking 
to strike back at the Tehran regime — by attacking the government’s 

Pro-democracy activists on the web are asking supporters to use 
relatively simple hacking tools to flood the regime’s propaganda sites 
with junk traffic. “NOTE to HACKERS - attack www.farhang.gov.ir - pls 
try to hack all iran gov wesites [sic]. very difficult for us,” Tweets 
one activist. The impact of these distributed denial of service (DDOS) 
attacks isn’t clear. But official online outlets like leader.ir, 
ahmadinejad.ir, and iribnews.ir are currently inaccessible. “There are 
calls to use an even more sophisticated tool called BWraep, which seems 
to exhaust the target website out of bandwidth by creating bogus 
requests for serving images,” notes Open Society Institute fellow Evgeny 

In both Iran and abroad, the cyberstrikes are being praised as a way to 
hit back against a regime that so blatantly engaged in voter fraud. But 
some observers warn that the network strikes could backfire — hurting 
the very protesters they’re meant to assist. Michael Roston is concerned 
that “it helps to excuse the Iranian regime’s own cyberwarfare.” 
Text-messaging networks and key opposition websites mysteriously went 
dark just before the election. Morozov worries that it “gives [the] 
hard-line government another reason to suspect ‘foreign intervention‘ — 
albeit via computer networks — into Iranian politics.”

Iran has one of the world’s most vibrant social media communities. 
That’s helping those of us outside Iran follow along as this revolution 
is being YouTubed, blogged, and Tweeted. But Iran’s network 
infrastructure there is relatively centralized. Which makes Internet 
access there inherently unstable. Programmer Robert Synott worries that 
if outside protesters pour too much DDOS traffic into Iran, carriers 
there “will simply pull the plug to protect the rest of their network.”


Visit the InfoSec News security bookstore!
Received on Tue Jun 16 2009 - 00:03:52 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Jun 16 2009 - 00:12:59 PDT