Report By: Nina Rai
Tehran, Nov. 27, 2012
A group of pro-Iranian hackers allegedly infiltrated the world’s top nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) site and hacked personal information of around 200 scientists and officials linked to it, according to a message posted on the Cryptome website this Sunday.
The hacker gang, going by the name Parastoo, posted several email addresses apparently seized from within the IAEA's internal computer systems. In a kind of blackmailing tactic, it has threatened to publish the personal information of scientists and other dignitaries unless IAEA takes immediate steps to probe Israel’s secret nuclear program.
This step by the Parastoo group appears to be in response to the globe’s chief nuclear watchdog’s aggressive investigation into Iranian nuclear enrichment program, which detractors vociferously claim Tehran is undertaking in pursuit of possesing an atom bomb.
The hacker group, in a statement while assuring IAEA that their sensitive information was safe with them, however said they would not guarantee the same “if a Western-favored element entertains another sip of motorbike & magnetbomb [sic] cocktail,” in an obvious reference to the assassinations allegedly carried out by Israelis against Iranian nuclear scientists.
The pro-Iran group, claiming its “first public message,” wrote on Cryptome website:
“Israel owns a practical nuclear arsenal, tied to a growing military body and it is not a member of international respected nuclear, biochemical and chemical agreements…We ask these individuals to sign a petition demanding an open IAEA investigation into activities at [Israel’s Negev Nuclear Research Center located near the southern city of] Dimona."
The hacked email addresses is understood to be associated with various academics and government officials across the world, with one employee even said to be from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. An IAEA spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon that the organization is “not giving any on-record comment on this right now.” Neither did the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE) respond to a request for comment on the incident.
It may be noted the IAEA has been probing intensely into Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity, which both US and Israel have been claiming is being undertaken in pursuit of a nuclear weapon while Iran has been asserting is for peaceful purposes only. On the other hand, it’s widely understood that Tel Aviv has more than a hundred nuclear weapons in its arsenal, although neither Israel nor the US officially acknowledges this publicly.
“The above list who technically help IAEA could be considered a partner in crime should an accident happen there,” the pro Iran group further wrote. “In such case ... Parastoo will publish whereabouts of every single one of these individuals alongside with bits of helpful personal and professional details.”
The anti-Israel group has even accused Tel Aviv of promoting terrorism and espionage alleging in the website message that Israel has “a history of attacking U.S. properties, Arab countries and assassination episodes of all stripes.” The Parastoo has also gone on to deliver a crisp chilling warning: “You are not anonymous. Expect us.”
Before the conclusion of the American presidential elections, Iran had some breathing space. But now it appears the Islamic Republic is facing the full brunt of pressure from all directions with regard to its nuclear propram. Already, the crippling punitive sanction imposed by the United States and European allies is hitting Iran’s economy adversely. While the latter is doing all it can to assure the world that the uranium enrichment program it has embarked upon is meant for peaceful purposes only, that does not seem to be cutting much ice.
The West, particularly America and Israel, are both hell-bent on stopping Iran’s nuclear march altogether. However, the fringe elements like the pro-Iranian group like Parastoo, strongly favoring Iran, are trying every underhanded tactic to get the upper hand, like it has done in this instance by infiltrating the IAEA website and hacking sensitive data from there. This group does not appear to be hacking from the Iranian soil, and that make these sleeper cells from abroad very lethal.
They can stealthily plot and carry out the action on their own with the single-minded pursuit of the Iranian regime’s goals. It is going to be real tough for the US and Israel to counter these elements as they are beyond the control of even the Iranian government and the Mullahs there. Groups like these seem to be a law unto themselves and hence a difficult proposition to tackle. It will take all the resources at US-Israeli command to neutralize the damage they can cause.
There is nothing wrong in the Parastoo group demanding a fair and open investigation into the activities in Dimona by IAEA to ascertain about Israel nuclear capabilities. However, threatening to publish the personal and professional details and addresses of all those individuals associated with IAEA and demanding them to sign a petition for a probe into Israel’s nuclear arsenal is nothing short of blackmail and deserves to be condemned widely. Compromising secret data of professionals doing their jobs cannot be condoned by all those who are looking forward to a peaceful resolution to the Iran-Israel imbroglio which is having its ramification world-wide and threatening to spiral into a major confrontation.
Source: http://freebeacon.com/hacking-the-iaea/, The Washington Free Beacon
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