On Friday, 25th November, the hacktivist group by the name of Black Reward attacked the database of the Iranian hardline Fars News Agency, claiming to have deleted nearly 250 terabytes of data from the website from its servers and computers.
The hackers also claimed to have obtained the confidential bulletins and directives sent by the news agency to the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
For your information, Fars is the Iranian government-backed news agency managed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
According to the message posted by the hacker group, the compromised data also includes recorded calls, information on internal portals related to administrative conversations and news folders, image archives, and financial documents of the news agency.
English Translation via Google
“For years, the wage earners of “Fars Sludge Spreading Company” have been thinking that no one is protecting them and they are going to gas for themselves. But false imagination! Spreading lies, spreading rumors, creating cases against the people of Iran, working and writing, has a heavy penalty; especially when the “truth becomes clear”, the curtains fall and the lowly nature of these wage earners is revealed to everyone.”
“Most of the black deeds letters of each and every official employee and unofficial collaborator of Fars Sludge Company are in our possession today with all the details and we give this warning to other ration eaters of the IRGC and Mullahs that dark and difficult days are waiting for them. We will come to you one by one.”
“We also give this good news to our dear compatriots that all the information of the Fars Sludge Company, including the confidential news bulletins that they sent to the leadership and the IRGC, along with faxes, recorded calls, information on internal portals related to administrative conversations and news folders, image archives.”
“Also, the financial documents have all been downloaded, and we have also removed nearly 250 terabytes of data, or in other words, what is and what is not Fars Sludge Spreading Company from the beginning until now, from all the servers and computers belonging to this collection – For woman, life, freedom for #Mehsa_Amini.”
However, Fars News has denied the extent of the hack as described by the hackers. They described the hackers as only being able to destroy the information and news from Friday and reiterated that other information and databases of the news agency had not been breached.
This is not all. The hackers also published a video apparently showing a journalist from the agency engaged in an indecent sexual act at the agency’s office. The alleged security camera footage has gone viral on Iranian social media.
The video was posted from the news agency’s manager Habib Torkashvand’s Twitter account which was hacked by the Black Reward group. It was captioned:
“These are the freeloaders of Fars! At the beginning of every week, after coming to the office, they must check who has been at their desk the day before and jerked off!”
Fars News denied that the footage belonged to them but some of the users on Twitter have identified the person in the video to be one of the economic editors of the website.
Furthermore, this is not the first time Black Reward has attacked the state or the agencies supporting it. As reported by Hackread.com earlier in October, the group claimed to have hacked the email system of Iran’s Nuclear Power Production and Development company and threatened to release its documents if the government did not halt its clampdown on protestors. They said the total data obtained was 50 GB in size.
However, after the 24-hour deadline passed and the government’s offensive against the protestors did not stop, Black Reward published a trove of documents from Iran’s nuclear program.
In the past weeks, the group also hacked the emails of managers and employees of Press TV state channel and the employees of Al-Zahra University in Tehran as well as the Legal Medicine Organisation of the country, urging them to support the protests happening in the country.
In mid-September when anti-regime protests began, Black Reward along with the group called Tepandegan, sent millions of texts inviting people to participate in protest rallies.
Black Reward group’s hack comes just days after an Iranian hacker group by the name of Moses Staff, posted previously unseen footage of a deadly bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. The footage was obtained from a surveillance camera used by a major Israeli security organization.