Iran’s state broadcaster says it was hacked for 10 seconds


DUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB was hacked for 10 seconds on Thursday, state media reported, as the country prepared for the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“During a 10-second period, the faces and voices of hypocrites appeared on (our) Channel One,” said IRIB, a phrase used by Iran’s spiritual rulers to refer to the exiled opposition group People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran ( PMOI).

The PMOI – also known as the Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) – presents itself as an alternative to the Iranian theocracy and is the main faction within the umbrella organization of the exile opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

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During the hack, images of MKO leaders Maryam and Masoud Rajavi appeared on state television and a male voice could be heard chanting “Salute to Rajavi, death to (Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei!”, according to videos posted on social media media were published.

IRIB Deputy Chief Ali Dadi said the case was under investigation.

“Our colleagues are investigating the incident. This is an extremely sophisticated attack, and only the owners of this technology could exploit and damage the backdoors and features installed on the systems,” Dadi told state TV channel IRINN.

“Similar disruptions occurred on Koran Channel, Radio Javan and Radio Payam,” he added, referring to other state-affiliated broadcasters.

In the past, the Islamic Republic has been the target of a number of cyberattacks, including one in October last year that disrupted sales of heavily subsidized gasoline. {nL1N2RM108}

Iran has said it is on high alert over online attacks, which it has blamed on arch-enemies the US and Israel. The United States and other Western powers, meanwhile, have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their online networks.

Iran will hold official celebrations in early February to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the revolution that toppled US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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Reporting from Dubai Newsroom Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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