Hackers hit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agency

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pierluigi Paganini

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(Translated from the original Italian)

Another victim of cyber attacks, the UN nuclear agency International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that one of its servers was compromised by a group of hackers who claims to be anti-Israeli.

The group of hackers who named itself Parastoo Farsi have exposed contacts for more than 100 nuclear experts and scientists, the word Parastoo is Farsi and referes a bird species like the  swallow and an Iranian girl's name.

The agency reported that data breach is related to "some contact details related to experts working" with the agency", fortunately data doesn't include information related to confidential work carried out by the IAEA.

An agency spokesman Gill Tudor declared that the agency is working to find and fix the vulnerability exploited during the attack.

“The IAEA deeply regrets this publication of information stolen from an old server that was shut down some time ago,” "deeply regrets this publication of information stolen from an old server"."The IAEA's technical and security teams are continuing to analyze the situation and do everything possible to help ensure that no further information is vulnerable,"

Why the hackers have hit the agency?

The main subject of the dispute between the U.S., Israel and Western countries with Iran is developing of the atomic program by the government in Tehran. Israel and the United States accused Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability, due this reason they consider Iran a serious threat for worldwide peace. Tehran always denied any accusation and is continuing development of the program for uranium enrichment declaring civil purposes, and excluding military operations.

The IAEA agency is the organism that is investigating on Iran's nuclear program and according the group of hackers its analysis isn't impartial, Israel is widely believed to have nuclear arsenal but no government has conducted further investigations on its nuclear armament. Recently the IAEA published a report that states that Iran was ready to double the output at its underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordo, and the agency was unable to conclude that all nuclear material in was for civil use.

"While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

The finality to expose the names of the researchers is to sensitize them to sign a petition calling for an IAEA investigation also on Israeli nuclear weapons program. The hackers invited the agency to investigate on activities done in the nuclear facility located in the city of Dimona that is assumed to be a nuclear weapons manufacturing plant. Following a piece extrapolated from the claim of the group:

2.FLYING OVER DIMONA

ISRAEL OWNS A PRACTICAL NUCLEAR ARSENAL , TIED TO A GROWING MILITARY BODY AND IT IS NOT A MEMBER OF INTERNATIONALLY RESPECTED NUCLEAR , BIOCHEMICAL AND CHEMICAL AGREEMENTS . WITH A HISTORY OF ATTACKING U.S PROPERTIES , ARAB COUNTRIES AND ASSASSINATION EPISODES OF ALL STRIPS ( PLUS SUPPOSEDLY-FAKE PASSPORTS THAT APPARENTLY WORK BETTER THAN THE REAL ONES ) , PARASTOO DECIDED TO ASK ITS VERY FIRST QUESTION FROM A NICE 161.5.7.253 AT VIENNA . FOLLOWING PERSONAS WERE FOUND IN REACH :

.......................................................................

WE ASK THESE INDIVIDUALS TO SIGN A PETITION DEMANDING AN OPEN IAEA INVESTIGATION INTO ACTIVITIES AT DIMONA . WE WOULD LIKE TO ASSERT THAT WE HAVE EVIDENCES SHOWING THERE ARE BEYOND-HARMFUL OPERATIONS TAKING PLACE AT THIS SITE AND THE ABOVE LIST WHO TECHNICALLY HELP IAEA COULD BE CONSIDERED A PARTNER IN CRIME SHOULD AN ACCIDENT HAPPEN THERE . IN SUCH CASE , MANY PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO AT LEAST ASK SOME QUESTIONS AND PARASTOO WILL PUBLISH WHEREABOUTS OF EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS ALONGSIDE WITH BITS OF HELPFUL PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DETAILS .

The incident comes few days after the decision of the European Commission to supports research on cyber security, event like this, despite hasn't had serious consequences, could can cause dangerous damage. Data breach could reveal sensible information and stolen data that could be used for further attacks against critical infrastructures.

The cyber security is a primary goal for European cyber strategy and it is fundamental the political and economic support to research and operative operations to predict, detect and mitigate cyber threats coming from the cyberspace.

Pierluigi Paganini

References

http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/10649/hacking/hackers-hit-iaea-agency.html

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