Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime

Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime
Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime

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By Noah Shachtman
Danger Room
June 15, 2009

While demonstrators gather in the streets to contest Iran=E2=80=99s rigged 
election, online backers of the so-called =E2=80=9CGreen Revolution=E2=80=9D are looking 
to strike back at the Tehran regime =E2=80=94 by attacking the government=E2=80=99s 

Pro-democracy activists on the web are asking supporters to use 
relatively simple hacking tools to flood the regime=E2=80=99s propaganda sites 
with junk traffic. =E2=80=9CNOTE to HACKERS - attack - pls 
try to hack all iran gov wesites [sic]. very difficult for us,=E2=80=9D Tweets 
one activist. The impact of these distributed denial of service (DDOS) 
attacks isn=E2=80=99t clear. But official online outlets like,, and are currently inaccessible. =E2=80=9CThere 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,=E2=80=9D 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 =E2=80=94 hurting 
the very protesters they=E2=80=99re meant to assist. Michael Roston is concerned 
that =E2=80=9Cit helps to excuse the Iranian regime=E2=80=99s own cyberwarfare.=E2=80=9D 
Text-messaging networks and key opposition websites mysteriously went 
dark just before the election. Morozov worries that it =E2=80=9Cgives [the] 
hard-line government another reason to suspect =E2=80=98foreign intervention=E2=80=98 =E2=80=94 
albeit via computer networks =E2=80=94 into Iranian politics.=E2=80=9D

Iran has one of the world=E2=80=99s most vibrant social media communities. 
That=E2=80=99s helping those of us outside Iran follow along as this revolution 
is being YouTubed, blogged, and Tweeted. But Iran=E2=80=99s 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 =E2=80=9Cwill simply pull the plug to protect the rest of their network.=E2=80=9D


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