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Iran's atomic energy organisation emails hacked, in solidarity with protests

Hacking group releases information on Bushehr power plant, declaring support for demonstrations sparked by death of Mahsa Amini
Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant during a ceremony to kick-start works on a second reactor at the facility on 10 November 2019 (AFP)
Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant during a ceremony to kickstart work on a second reactor at the facility on 10 November 2019 (AFP)

Iran's atomic energy organisation said the email server of one of its subsidiaries had been hacked from a foreign country and information published online, state media reported on Sunday.

Black Reward, an Iranian hacking group, published a statement on Twitter declaring that it had released information on Iranian nuclear activities. 

The statement ended with the words "in the name of Mahsa Amini and for women, life, freedom" - echoing the slogan of the weeks-long protests in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Amini while in custody of the country's morality police last month.

According to the group, the hacked data consisted of "management and operational schedules of different parts of Bushehr power plant" located 1200km south of Tehran, as well passport and visa documents of Iranian and Russian specialists working there. 

It also included "atomic development contracts and agreements with domestic and foreign partners". 

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The atomic energy organisation played down the significance of the hacked information, suggesting that the move "was made with the aim of attracting public attention". 

"It should be noted that the content in users' emails contains technical messages and routine and current everyday exchanges," state media reported.

On Friday, Black Reward threatened to release hacked information within 24 hours unless Iran released political prisoners and those arrested during recent protests. 

Iran's crackdown on demonstrators protesting over Amini's death, following her arrest for wearing an "inappropriate" hijab, has left scores of people dead, with Tehran linking the unrest to foreign foes.

The nationwide protests have turned into one of the boldest challenges to the Iranian government since the 1979 revolution.

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