Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirms cyberattack but denies leak of documents

Iran's Foreign Ministry late on Sunday confirmed a cyberattack on its information website but denied reports about the leak of documents and data. Nasser Kanani, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the ministry's information website was hacked, but "necessary measures" were taken immediately to restore the website. He, however, denied claims circulating on social media about the leak of documents and databases as well as the hacking of servers and systems of the ministry. The spokesman also stressed that the information and images published in the name of Iran's Foreign Ministry in cyberspace are "fake and unsubstantiated." Earlier on Sunday, an Iranian hacker group calling itself "Ghiam Sarnegouni" (Uprising Till Overthrow) claimed to have attacked the ministry's servers and databases, taking down 210 websites and leaking 50 TB of data. The hacker group, according to reports, is affiliated with the Albania-based Iranian opposition group Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK). The group is designated as a "terrorist organization" by the Islamic Republic. Hackers published a large cache of documents, identity cards, minutes of meetings as well as phone numbers of ministry employees on the group's Telegram channel. The documents released included correspondence between Iranian and European officials on the prison swap deal between Iran and Belgium, which will see the release of Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi and Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, respectively. It is not the first time this hacker group has claimed cyberattacks on websites belonging to Iranian government institutions. In June 2022, it claimed to have hacked thousands of security cameras as well as websites belonging to Tehran Municipality.

Source: Anadolu Agency