Terror Report: Is this the New Crusades? Iranians hack into Feds VOA Web site
Hacktivists call on U.S. to 'stop interfering in Islamic countries'
Computer hackers from Iran hijacked the Voice of America Web site earlier this week. The hackers replaced the VOA home page with a banner bearing an Iranian flag and an image of an AK-47 assault rifle.
The little-known Iranian Cyber Army is also credited with hacking and defacing Twitter in December of 2009, replacing the social networking site's home page with a similar message.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In its posting, "the Iranian Cyber Army" called on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to "hear the voice of oppressed nations" and a banner stated that "we have proven that we can."
The message called on the United States to "stop interfering in Islamic countries" and then listed more than 90 Web sites of VOA it claimed to have hacked.
VOA operates a global network of news and information outlets that reflect official U.S. foreign policies and broadcasts through radio, television and the Internet to nations across the globe.
The little-known Iranian Cyber Army is credited with hacking and defacing Twitter in December of 2009, replacing the social networking site's home page with a similar message.
Cyber security specialists say they suspect the Iranian Cyber Army is part of the Iranian government. The hacker group has been critical of the pro-democracy Green Movement in Iran.
Iran's FARS news agency confirms that the Iranian Cyber Army was behind the attack. "The move came in response to the false reports released by the VOA and other web sites on the spread and progress of seditious moves in Iran," said FARS, a reference to media reports about the resurgence of the Green movement there in recent weeks.
While the Voice of America broadcasts TV and radio signals around the world; Iran sees it as "a complementary and media arm of the US spy agencies."
The move appears to be part of a concerted Iranian government campaign to quell internal disturbances by painting protestors as agents of the United States. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has blamed the recent unrest in the Middle East on "hegemonic powers" who for too long have supported dictators; he, of course, is on the side of the people. "If governments become united with their peoples, no power can take control of their nations," he said.
The incident points towards a troubling relationship that world governments have with the flow of free information on the Internet. Last year, a bill was introduced that would allow U.S. President Barack Obama to take emergency actions to protect critical parts of the Internet, including ordering owners of critical infrastructure to implement emergency response plans, during a cyber-emergency. The president would need congressional approval to extend a national cyber-emergency beyond 120 days under an amendment to the legislation approved by the committee.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: hactivists, Iran, Voice of America
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