Charlie Hebdo Hit by Iranian Cyber Attack

Charlie Hebdo Hit by Iranian Cyber Attack


Microsoft’s Digital Threat Analysis Center (DTAC) reported on Friday that Iranian hackers accessed the personal information of more than 200,000 customers of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo last month in retaliation for a cartoon contest for depictions of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

According to DTAC, the Iranian hacker group “Holy Souls,”  which is linked to the Iranian cyber company Emennet Pasargad, obtained “full names, telephone numbers, and home and email addresses of accounts that had subscribed to, or purchased merchandise from, the publication” and “advertised the cache of data for sale for 20 BTC (equal to roughly $340,000 at the time).”

The hacking coincided with criticisms by the Iranian government over a contest Charlie Hebdo was holding to “Produce the funniest and meanest caricature of Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader.” The publication said that Khamenei is a “Symbol of backward-looking, narrow-minded, intolerant religious power, Ali Khamenei is only the “leader” of those who really want to submit to him.” In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted that “The insulting and indecent act of a French publication in publishing cartoons against religious and political authority will not be effective without a decisive and effective response.”

DTAC emphasized that the “the release of the full cache of stolen data – assuming the hackers actually have the data they claim to possess – would essentially constitute the mass doxing of the readership of a publication that has already been subject to extremist threats and deadly terror attacks.” In 2015, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked by two al-Qaeda gunmen over the release of satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, which is widely considered blasphemous in Islam. The attack left 12 people dead, including eight Charlie Hebdo staff and two police officers, and an additional 11 other wounded.

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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