The rogue movement Anonymous has issued a press release identifying the Iranian government as the target de jour for a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack campaign.
According to the statement, the attacks were set to begin on May 1 in conjunction with International Workers Day. No specific target websites were named in the release which directs interested "hive" participants to an IRC channel for coordination efforts.
From the Anonymous press release:
"Most respectable and honourable citizens of Iran, It is a time of action. An era of change is sweeping the world. Everywhere, workers are taking their proper place, to lead and control their destiny. To speak on their own behalf, to speak for their future generations, and to speak on behalf of their dead. This change is embodied by the people of Iran - it started in Iran. Though your suffering is great, your strength is greater. Though your trial is long, your will persists. The people of Iran have the admiration of Anonymous, and the entire world. We can see that Iran still suffers at the hands of those in power. Your former government has seized control, and tries to silence you. People of Iran - your rights belong to you. You have the right to free speech and free press, the freedom to assemble and to be safe in your person. You have the right to live free and without fear. As International Worker's Day dawns - Anonymous stands with you! We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect Us. "
Reports had been circulating on the Web last week that implicate Anonymous in a DDoS attack that has caused intermittent downtime for New Zealand's Parliamentary website, though no official press release has been issued identifying the operation.
Meanwhile, Sony officials have officially acknowledged this weekend that Anonymous is not a primary suspect in the PlayStation Network breach that compromised the records of more than 70 million customers.
"While there may be no relation to this attack, the Sony network has also been targeted by the Internet group Anonymous. In addition, the personal information on Sony's top management, including the names of their children, the schools they attend, and the names of other family members, has been published on the Internet. They have also called for protests outside Sony stores around the world," said Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony's games subsidiary.
Anonymous had targeted Sony with a DDoS attack campaign in early April, but called off the assault after receiving backlash from Sony customers who did not appreciate the network downtime. When the network failed again, Anonymous issued a press release on April 22 that sought to dispel any notion that the movement had taken part in the latest PSN outage.