Friday, December 30, 2011

Anonymous Hacks 'Top Secret' Iran Government Email, Shows Obama How It's Done

Anonymous Hacks ‘Top Secret’ Iran Government Email, Shows Obama How It’s Done

by DJ Pangburn,
December 20th 2011 4:00 AM

The hacker collective goes after the repressive Iranian regime, doing the US government a favor.  Looks like President Obama owes Anonymous a shout-out.

Anonymous launched Operation Iran several months ago.  Today, 10,365 “top secret” emails from the autocratic regime were made public after Anonymous hacked Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs some time around May 30th.

First question that must be asked: What is going on here?  It almost seems as if Anonymous just pulled a freelance job for the U.S. government.  However, it’s more likely that despite Anonymous’ clear objective to cause damage to the Iranian regime, making top secret Iranian emails public has the secondary effect of making U.S. intelligence services look bad (even if the intel isn’t ultimately of the best quality).

Right now, the latter scenario seems to be the case. However, from Iran’s perspective it will certainly seem as if Anonymous were a CIA front.  This, after all, is a country with a leader who buys into the peculiar realm of conspiracy theory known as Holocaust denialism.

What is the substance of the 10,365 “top secret” emails Anonymous stole from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs?  Visa applications for an “oil meeting,” with many of them coming from China.  This, of course, opens up an entirely new dimension to the cyber attack.  China, as with any country, doesn’t like its secrets revealed to foreigners, but we also know China is quite aggressive when it comes to hiding information from its own people.  This certainly won’t help their standing in the world, even though it’s known that China is Iran’s single biggest trading partner and investor in Iran’s oil and gas industry.

Iran, of course, has been trying to cover up the hack over the last few days and it seems that Anonymous will be continuing their efforts against the regime.  It’s part of a larger effort aimed at shutting down government websites in autocratic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East.

Regardless of one’s personal opinion of Anonymous, the hacker collective did strike at one of the worst offenders of free speech and free information in the world.

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