Iranian activists deface UK genetics website
1953 and all that
The UK's Human Genetics Commission website was hit by politically-motivated hackers on Tuesday, who defaced the site with a protest marking a Western plot to overthrow a post-WWII democratically elected leader in Iran.
Dr Mohammed Mossadegh nationalised Iran's petroleum industry before a plot backed by the UK and the US led to his overthrow back in 1953. Quite why the Sun Army defaced the Human Genetics Commission website with digital graffiti is not immediately clear, but Jason Hart - senior European VP of CryptoCard, the security firm that brought the hack to our attention - said that in "order to deface the site they [the hackers] would have had to get admin access".
Iran is something of a hotbed for politically-motivated hack attacks. The Iranian Cyber Army mounted a series of DNS hijacking attacks against first Twitter and later Chinese search engine Baidu in December 2009 and January. The attacks both resulted in the redirection of surfers.
Baidu is suing US-based domain registrar Register.com (no relation) for alleged negligence in facilitating the attacks.
Following the attack, the Human Genetics Commission website was restored to normal operation by Wednesday afternoon. The organisation has thus been able to return to its normal business of advising the UK government on the ethical implications and possible social effects of advances in genetics, such as genetic testing, cloning and stem cell research. ®
> Care to provide some links?
> Actually, care to mention why you're spurting off here?
a) The health problem in Fallujah, and elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan, appears to be absolutely ghastly and deserves attention;
b) hijacking the real cause in order to bolster the campaign against depleted uranium doesn't help matters;
c) the politicians and journalists to whom I've sent details haven't yet responded;
and so d) the hack into the Human Genetics Commission website, which may perhaps be related (e.g. birth defects) to some of the stuff I've been seeing, gives me an opportunity to bring the likely chemical poisoning to the attention of a bunch of technically competent people.
During the past three weeks I've been following a bogus story about birth-defects in Fallujah. Well, the birth-defects and illnesses part appears, sadly, to be true. The claim, made recently in a pay-to-publish journal, that the cause is depleted uranium is demonstrably flawed.
Although the "worse than Hiroshima" headline that accompanied coverage in the Independent was obviously going to generate interest, the story seems to have spread very rapidly. More than once, reading blogs and so forth, I'd wondered that it was being orchestrated and pushed.
As an added twist, the Tehran Times had reported, "Iraq's Ministry for Human Rights is expected to file a lawsuit against Britain and the U.S. over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq."
It's not entirely implausible that with Iran's nuclear reactor about to start up there is something perhaps like a campaign to bring the potential of genetic damage to the fore as a sort of scare story or cautionary tale, in the hope that this will help to stave off a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Their new reactor is about to be started up in the next few days.
...what are you talking about????