Anonymous hacked thousands of security cameras in Iran to support widespread protests in the country, the hacker collective claimed.
The latest action follows cyber attacks on government websites and state TV channels this week as part of #OpIran, which comes in response to the death of Mahsa Amini.
The 22-year-old woman died after being detained by the country’s morality police, who had accused her of violating Iran’s strict Islamic dress code by wearing her headscarf too loosely.
Her death sparked protests in towns and cities across Iran, with some women publicly removing and burning their mandatory headscarves.
Online activists claiming to be members of Anonymous have also organized online, coordinating their efforts to disrupt state media and infiltrate security infrastructure.
More than 2,000 CCTV and Internet-connected security cameras in Iran have reportedly been compromised by exploiting Internet of Things (IoT) security vulnerabilities.
“We Hear the Calls of the Iranian People,” a popular account linked to Anonymous he tweeted on Thursday.
“We understand the abuse you are suffering and will do our best to help the people of Iran as much as we can. Many hacktivists around the world support the people of Iran and understand how oppressive your government is.”
Earlier this week, a separate Twitter account linked to Anonymous posted a video announcing the latest operation against the “dictatorial Iranian government.”
The hashtag #OpIran trended globally on the platform shortly after the video was posted, as users called in solidarity with those protesting Amini’s death.
“The Iranian people are not alone,” the video said. “Anonymous will not keep the Iranian government alive on the Internet while they fight dictatorial power and fight murderous cops.
“Now Anonymous will shut you down and your own people will remove you from power. It’s too late to ‘wait for us’. We are here.”
There have been reports of a violent crackdown on the protests, with rights groups saying at least 36 people have died.
Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s president, told a news conference Thursday in New York, where he is attending the UN general assembly, that “acts of chaos” will not be tolerated.
He also said that Amini’s death and the actions of the ethics police “must definitely be investigated”.