Iran: Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime

More on the web-fueled uprising in Iran, where many are expressing outrage over presumed electoral fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. From Noah Shachtman at Wired:
While demonstrators gather in the streets to contest Iran’s rigged election, online backers of the so-called “Green Revolution” are looking to strike back at the Tehran regime — by attacking the government’s websites.

Pro-democracy activists on the web are asking supporters to use relatively simple hacking tools to flood the regime’s propaganda sites with junk traffic. “NOTE to HACKERS - attack - pls try to hack all iran gov wesites [sic]. very difficult for us,” Tweets one activist. The impact of these distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks isn’t clear. But official online outlets like,, and are currently inaccessible. “There are calls to use an even more sophisticated tool called BWraep, which seems to exhaust the target website out of bandwidth by creating bogus requests for serving images,” notes Open Society Institute fellow Evgeny Morozov.

Activists Launch Hack Attacks on Tehran Regime (Wired Danger Room)


  1. Albeit I approve of young Iranian people fighting for their beliefs, I’d like to take the time and suggest any Boing Boing readers to take a breather before running DDoS tools (even really simple, browser-based ones) against websites.

    The major persons you’ll be afflicting are engineers that I’m pretty sure haven’t been elected in the last week. Most aren’t even in Iran! They will have need make a decision, and that will not reflect their political views, and yes their job to maintain fair and balanced network access.

    But, as the internet uses to say… “Anonymous does not forgive”, right? Have at it.

  2. Pro-Democracy only in so much as one assumes that the election was stolen and that the CIA isn’t just fueling a coup.

    Yesterday it seemed that twitter was being hit by bots repeating the same pro-Mousavi tweets.

    From what I have seen Iran’s elections were no more fucked up than our own in the USA, so we ought best keep our mouth’s shut.

  3. Well, if it is the CIA it’s now become purely the work of the upset Iranians. I don’t think their frustration is insincere.

  4. Please don’t use DDOS attacks to try to shut down political enemies. These kinds of things can go both ways and render the net unusable once everyone starts doing it. It’s irresponsible of BoingBoing to encourage it.

    Thebes, I do think that the Iranian election was stolen (I might have believed a narrow Ahmadinijad win, so the theft was clumsy, maybe deliberately so). I also think that the Florida 2000 vote was stolen, and I don’t see how that requires Americans to shut up.

    But there is a point to what you say: the Ahmadinijad line will be that the CIA is trying to fuel a coup, so it would be a particularly bad idea for Americans to participate in DDOS attacks against official Iranian sites.

    1. It’s irresponsible of BoingBoing to encourage it.

      @Joe: Neither Boing Boing nor I, personally, take any advocacy position here. Nowhere did I or my colleagues recommend DDOsing anyone. Read the blog post, please, not the invisible teleprompter in your head.

  5. It’s irresponsible of BoingBoing to encourage it.

    Since when is reporting a form of encouragement? No where does Xeni say go out and hack Iran.

  6. at #8 – How long before we have MAD internet? When both sides are so critically intertwined with the net that a disturbance brings their entire societies crashing?

  7. #6 posted by Thebes:

    From what I have seen Iran’s elections were no more fucked up than our own in the USA, so we ought best keep our mouth’s shut.

    I’d suggest that you’ve not seen enough.

    For example: Mousavi is a Turkish-speaking Azeri. The Azeries make up 1/4 of all eligible voters in Iran. Karroubi (the other reformist candidate) is a Lor. Apparently we’re supposed to believe that Ahmadi-Nejad trounced both of them in their home provinces and among their own ethnic populations, by a landslide.

    It’s the equivalent of McCain taking, say, California and New York by a huge margin, with a historically high turnout in both states.

    And “keeping

  8. [whoops]

    …And “we ought best keep our mouth’s shut” sounds like you think folks Stateside are shaking their heads at the silly Mooslims and their corrupt election.

    The point is to support the people who’ve been disenfranchised, not point fingers.

  9. Can we get a new Law of the Internet?

    I am not sure about the name, but we really need that meme. When somebody tries to stifle criticism only based on nationality grounds. “Americans should keep silent” “Venezuelans have no ground”, etc..

    Why should an individual shut up because he happened to be born in a certain place? Why an individual that might or might not agree with his government be accused of agreeing? This is a despicable argument that emerges time after time in debates. We need a meme to make it undesirable. just like over the top Nazi comparisons and Godwin’s Law.

  10. “The impact of these distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks isn’t clear.”

    i’ve been considering this issue, today. what i’ve gathered is that many young people believe that what the government is putting out as “news” would be more appropriately known as ‘lies’. apart from the benefits of shutting down disinformation, there is a demonstration of power inherent in DDOS attacks. the government can’t like that much. when you have civilian militia storming a major university to beat and arrest students and vandalize dorms, what exactly are your weapons? well, smart people use their brains, and in our modern age, their computers, to fight back. (not too surprisingly, computers were explicitly attacked at the university, as demonstrated in photos of the ransacked dorms.)

    i’m not computer literate enough to consider joining in on these attacks. but i see their value and reason, and won’t condemn those that do. i will hold solidarity with those attacked for protesting, and hope that some kind of resolution is arrived at soon, so that bloodshed can stop in Tehran and the rest of Iran.

  11. I would suggest though, that this is not necessarily the best picture to give of the Iranian activists. Hundreds of thousands of people demanding their rights is much, much more powerful then any DDoS.



  12. Wired’s wording unnecessarily characterizes DOSing as a patently violent act. “Cyberstrikes”, “network strikes”. “Strike back”, “hack”, “attack”.

    It looks like there are a variety of methods being used here. But if a DOS is widely distributed, and there aren’t any bogus requests, then it’s not that insane to compare it to a nonviolent sit-in.

  13. For those tempted to try BWraep, be aware that it comes with it own trojan that will set your antivirus software screaming. Additionally, it will crash Firefox. Just be aware, it’s tough on the streets…

  14. “Hey, to protest we crashed the Iranian government’s computers! Both of them!”

  15. Can any one tell me how to set up a linux proxy server and then a service provider who can direct me to help people in Iran with said server.

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