Hackers support protests against the Iranian government with proxies, leaks and hacks

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Several hacktivist groups are using Telegram and other tools to support anti-government protests in Iran to circumvent regime censorship restrictions amid ongoing unrest in the country following the death of Mahsa Amini in custody.

“Key activities are leaking and selling data, including officials’ phone numbers and emails, and maps of sensitive locations,” Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point said in a new report.

Internet security

The company said it also witnessed the sharing of proxies and open VPN servers to bypass censorship and reports on the country’s internet status, with a group helping anti-government protesters access social media sites.

The most important among them is a Telegram channel called the Official Atlas Intelligence Group (AIG), which mainly focuses on the release of data related to government officials, as well as maps of prominent locations.

The group, which calls itself CyberArmy, is said to have started operations in May and has also advertised a variety of services such as data leaks, DDoS attacks and remote access to organizations in the past. It is also known for voluntarily hunting down and killing pedophiles.

According to Cyberint, the cyber mercenary also claims to have “links to individuals in several law enforcement agencies in Europe who can provide confidential information solely on certain individuals”.

Internet security

A second interest group is ARVIN, which consists of around 5,000 members and spreads news about the ongoing protests and provides a list of Open VPN servers to bypass internet blocks.

RedBlue™, a 4,000-member group on Telegram, has also pitched in with similar efforts, in addition to sharing hacking talks and guides.

For its part, privacy-focused messaging app Signal has reached out to its community to set up a proxy that will help people in the country use the service on Android.

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