Anonymous makes off with scanned passports from Iran, 10k e-mails
In the run-up to the June 15th anniversary of the 2009 Iranian presidential election—elections met with widespread protests amidst widespread claims that the result was rigged—Anonymous has stepped up its electronic attacks on Iran. In a break from the loosely affiliated group's more common denial-of-service attacks, the group announced that it has stolen more than 10,000 e-mails from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The published e-mails, available via BitTorrent, appear to all relate to visa requests made by non-Iranians. The Ministry's website used for making visa applications requires scans of passport pages and other supporting documentation, but limits the size of uploaded images to just 40KB. This in turn leads to many rejections of applications and follow-up e-mail correspondence between applicants and government officials to remedy the problems. As a result, many of the e-mails include large scanned images of passports to provide the information requested.
Specific information about the hack is unavailable. Participants of OpIran, the brand name used by Anonymous for its Iranian activities, say that the Iranian servers have only been sporadically available for the past few days, interfering with hacking activity—activity that is still ongoing. Information seen by The Next Web indicates that at least one mail server is under Anonymous control.
For the anniversary itself, a number of distributed denial-of-service attacks are planned against Iranian targets. The planners are at present being cagey about what the targets will be, saying only that any domain ending in .ir that is not media-related is a legitimate target.