Hacktivists ‘steal’ 100,000 emails from Iran’s nuclear agency • The Register

The Iranian Atomic Energy Agency has laughed at claims that a subsidiary’s email systems were compromised, revealing key operational data about a nuclear power plant.

An activist group calling itself Black Reward and claiming to be from Iran took to Telegram last Friday and claimed they had accessed an email server operated by a company affiliated with the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran Connected, and 324 inboxes with over 100,000 messages and a total of over 50 GB of files exfiltrated.

Black Reward claimed that the contents of the shipment included construction plans for a nuclear power plant, personal information of Iranians working for the organization and passport details of Russian engineers supporting Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Technical details and reports are said to be among the loot, which Black Reward also has detailed on twitter. Correspondence with the International Atomic Energy Agency can also be found in the repository.

Black Reward’s Twitter bio claims that the group is part of Iran’s hacking community but opposes the nation’s theocratic government, which it labels as criminals.

The group appears to have chosen this moment to launch protests across Iran in response to the death of Mahsa Amini – a woman who died after being taken into custody for not complying with Iran’s strict dress code for women to spread. Video evidence emerged suggesting Amini died from injuries sustained when she was beaten by authorities, but the government insists the 22-year-old suffered a sudden heart attack.

Anti-government protests have rocked Iran since Amini’s death in late September 2022, with thousands taking to the streets at great personal risk. Thousands more have joined the marches around the world.

The Iranian regime has responded with violence and restricted access to social media to stem the spread of the protests.

The Atomic Energy Agency of Iran has denied Black Reward’s claims of accessing a trove of sensitive data, claiming that the group is in fact a front for Iran’s foreign enemies and the alleged release of information is a media stunt.

Black Rewards disagrees and has started publishing the information to prove its credibility. It recommends accessing the information in a virtual machine because Atomic Energy Organization emails are full of viruses.

Most nations claim that Iran’s nuclear program has two purposes, one of which is to help it build nuclear weapons. The Stuxnet worm, a notorious piece of malware, is believed to have been designed to damage Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities in hopes that nuclear weapons development would be delayed. Disclosing the operations of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure could potentially allow for similar attacks. Leaking correspondence with the International Atomic Energy Agency could also hurt Iran, as the nation is subject to constant inspections of its operations to verify safety and the nation is not working to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Black Reward doesn’t seem to care about guns, but about exposing corrupt and/or oppressive government activity. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/24/black_reward_iran_nuclear_leak/ Hacktivists ‘steal’ 100,000 emails from Iran’s nuclear agency • The Register

Rick Schindler

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