Technology

Hacker of 'Municipal Systems' Arrested in Iran: State Media

June 15, 2022
OstanWire
1 min read
Iranian state TV was hacked and broadcasts replaced with anti-regime messaging on at least two occasions earlier this year
Iranian state TV was hacked and broadcasts replaced with anti-regime messaging on at least two occasions earlier this year

One of the guerrilla hackers responsible for high-profile takedowns of municipal IT systems last year has reportedly been arrested in Iran. Fars News Agency, which is managed by the IRGC, reported on Tuesday that the unnamed "saboteur" had been "in contact with foreign services".

There were several high-profile hacks of Iranian state infrastructure over the past year. Digital traffic signs over major highways in Isfahan and elsewhere were altered to read "Khamenei! Where's our gas?" in October, at the same time as a massive cyberattack stopped people being able to buy subsidized fuel with electronic cards.

Earlier in July, hackers had disrupted the Tehran metro by hacking digital displays to show anti-regime messages and fake delay messages. That same month the Transport Ministry's website was also compromised and taken offline for hours, causing issues for ticket sales and cargo services.

That August, a hacking group calling itself Edaalat-e Ali ("Ali's Justice) carried out a major offensive targeting the Evin Prison CCTV system. The group briefly shut off all the cameras at Evin to broadcast its own message to the control room, then shared footage of the abysmal conditions and abuse of prisoners it had obtained on a Telegram channel.

In February this year, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting fell victim to several hacks attributed to various opposition groups including the People's Mojahedin Organization (MEK). Not two weeks ago on June 2, the MEK also claimed responsibility for a takeover of a reported 5,000 surveillance cameras including at Behesht Zahra cemetery and the tomb of Ruhollah Khomeini.

Where officials commented publicly on any of the attacks, they consistently blamed Israel and the United States despite the hackers claiming to have worked independently. No further detail was released on Tuesday's reported arrest.

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