The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) nuclear data has been stolen by anti-Israel hackers, possibly in response to investigations into Iran’s nuclear weapons research programs. The hacker group is calling itself Parastoo, which is the Iranian word for a swallow (as in, the bird).
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Parastoo first managed to hack the IAEA’s servers and stole only the personal information of nearly 200 IAEA scientists and officials last week, including one employee in the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. They followed up this attack by pilfering from the internal “nuclear data section” which houses “highly sensitive information, including confidential ‘SafeGuard’ documents, satellite images, official letters, [and] Presentations.”
Now Parastoo is trying to blackmail the IAEA into doing its demands.
“We are demanding IAEA to start an INVESTIGATION into activities at Israel’s secret nuclear facilities,” Parastoo wrote in a public statement. “There are many PARASTOOs in the world, seeking for an investigation into Israel’s Human-Life threatening nuclear activities.”
Parastoo’s attacks on the IAEA come as Iranian scientists run simulations on a nuclear bomb three times as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima by the US during World War II. Parastoo has said that it will not publicly release the sensitive information as long as the IAEA agrees to investigate Israel’s Negev Nuclear Research Center located near the southern city of Dimona. Israel has not publicly acknowledged having nuclear arms.
Yukiya Amano, the United Nations’ nuclear head, said that he did not believe sensitive nuclear safeguards have been comprised. But Parastoo is not the only hacker group to target Israel. Anonymous recently launched its own cyber war against Israel in response to the Israeli military launching counterattacks against the terrorist group Hamas. Anonymous leaked the personal information of nearly 5,000 Israeli officials and defaced as many Israeli websites as possible.