Hacker Group Anonymous Attacks Iranian Websites in Support of Protests
The hacker organization Anonymous claimed responsibility for launching cyberattacks against websites of the Iranian government and other sites. The group said that the attacks on Wednesday that brought down the websites of Iran’s government portal, the office of a government spokesperson, and the central bank are in support of demonstrations over the death in custody of a woman who was detained by the country’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly.
The group had previously released a video showing footage of the protests across Iran and said in voiceover that the woman’s death “was the last straw. The Iranian people are not alone. Anonymous will not keep the governments alive on the Internet as long as they fight the dictatorial rule and murderous cops.”
Meanwhile, Iran on Wednesday blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp across the country, according to internet watchdog Netblocks, and has disrupted internet service in the Kurdish provinces of Iran in an attempt to tamp down the massive protests that have spread throughout the country. At least 8 people have been killed in the demonstrations, which were concentrated in northwestern Iran, home of the Kurdish regions, but have spread to at least 50 cities and towns nationwide.
Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. She died on Friday in a Tehran hospital days after she was detained while visiting with her family. Iran’s security forces said in a statement that she had a heart attack in the detention center on the day of her arrest, where she was being trained in the proper rules of wearing a hijab. She remained in a coma for several days before dying. Her family says she is healthy and did not have a heart condition.