Iranian TV Platform and Prisons Hacked by Opposition Group
On February 1, the regular programming of the Iranian state TV channel, Islamic Republic Broadcasting, was interrupted. The ‘Edaalate Ali’ hacking group had succeeded in hacking into the system of Telewebion, an online platform which broadcasts Iranian TV channels live. Telewebion is among the most popular TV platforms in Iran.
It can be viewed here: https://telewebion.com
The hacking of Telewebion is the latest in a series of recent successful hacks of official Iranian networks by Edaalate Ali and other groups. The report below includes translations of the messages broadcast by the hackers, and links to the hacks themselves and to statements made by the hacking group.
The hack was timed to coincide with the onset of the ‘Ten days of Fajr (Dawn)’ in Iran. This is a period each year in which celebrations are held to commemorate the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran in 1979. During this period, students and young people in Iran are required to take part in demonstrations at which the United States and Israel are denounced.
For a minute, an opposition message was broadcasted into millions of homes across Iran.
The hack was timed to coincide with the onset of the ‘Ten days of Fajr (Dawn)’ in Iran.
Against a background of dramatic music, the following announcement was made:
‘"We are ready to shake the foundations of the corrupt regime that has ruled our country. They will not silence us anymore. We will turn the ten days of suffering [Fajr] into their mourning. No hijab (the compulsory Islamic head-dress worn by women in Iran)! We burn the hijab! We break their idols! We will expose the palaces of the oppressors so that the nation makes them pay for this. The regime has seen and will see our thumbs up. Don’t be afraid – we are all together.’
The hack may be viewed here at this link.
The Twitter profile of Edaalate Ali later took responsibility for the hacking, issuing the following message:
‘Today, we hacked the television broadcast of Islamic Republic Broadcasting, and made our voices heard, calling on the Iranian people to turn the ten days of Fajr into ten days of resumption of nationwide protests. As we promised during the revelation of the oppression that is taking place in Evin Prison, this time we will not allow this regime to hide again and we will continue to expose its oppression through any platform of the system that we have access to.’
The message may be viewed here at this link.
Relatively little is known about the ‘Edaalate Ali’ group. It was this organization which was responsible for the hacking into the security camera system at Iran’s Evin Prison, in August, 2021. Some Iranian opposition sources believe that the group may be connected to Israel, and may form part of Israel’s efforts to impact on public opinion in Iran.
The hack of the Telewebion platform is not the first of recent hacks by opposition elements in Iran. On January 27th and 28th, Iran’s Channel 1 (https://tv1.ir/) was hacked by supporters of the Mujahedin e-Khalq (Peoples’ Mujahedin Organization of Iran). The images of MEK leaders Massound and Maryam Rajavi appeared on the screen for about ten seconds on these successive days.
A (pro-regime) report on this hack including images may be seen here at this link.
At MECRA, we believe that ongoing unrest and opposition sentiment within Iran remains under-reported by western media. In cooperation with our Iranian colleagues, we will continue to inform our readers of developments.
Additional hack by Iranian opposition group reveals charges, sentences of those convicted in November 2019 unrest
On February 7, the Iranian ‘Edaalat Ali’ hacking group hacked into the computer system of the Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj, Iran. It is the third major hack by this group in recent weeks, following its hacking of a TV station earlier this month, and of the Evin Prison camera system in January (on which MECRA reported above).
In a statement released by the group on Feb 7, Edaalat Ali stated that ‘"A few minutes ago, we hacked Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj to expose the regime's oppression and repression in another dreadful prison and we will not allow them to hide again. All of us Iranians are political prisoners of this authoritarian regime, and we are turning these ten days of Fajr into ten days of resumption of nationwide protests."
The organization also gained access to confidential information about prisoners, including political detainees.
Edalaat-Ali has published some of this information, including a list of hundreds of detainees arrested during the stormy November 2019 protests [ known in Iran as bloody November -آبان خونین] and their charges. This list includes accusations such as propaganda activities against the regime, insulting two historic leaders of the Islamic Republic in cyberspace, and gathering and conspiring with the intention of acting against national security.
The list includes information concerning 1846 detainees.
Some examples of the charges on which detainees were convicted, as revealed by Edaalat Ali, and the resulting punishments:
"The accused, while covering his face, even though he claims he had a cold, chanted slogans against the regime." The detainee received 10 months imprisonment and 74 lashes suspended for three years.
"He has been frequently present at the protest place on Piroozi Street and has sent a text message to his relatives to show off." This person was sentenced to one year in prison and 74 lashes.
Other accusations included:
Taking a photo of a fire in the middle of the street, (the accused’s) covering his face with a mask, making a video and photo of the rally and sending it on WhatsApp, blocking the Imam Ali highway with cars, being present in front of the University of Tehran at a rally, chanting slogans and playing a role in illegal protests and trying to abolish university classrooms, owning films supporting the monarchists and insulting the clergy and leadership, forming a WhatsApp group to go to Shahid Hemmat Highway, sending videos to people abroad from within the country, owning a boxing glove (!), owning a significant number of books in PDF format on the phone in support of the Pahlavi era, shouting, moving with people to the gas station, extensive activity in cyberspace (Twitter) as a cyberspace admin, signing the declaration of freedom of the press, discovering the "Lion and Sun" flag from home, chanting slogans, attending rallies, blocking the highway.