BBC hit with cyberattack, Iran link suspected

March 14, 2012

Hackers attacked the BBC earlier this month, leaving some parts of the organization without access to e-mail and Internet services, the BBC has confirmed. The broadcasting network said in its own article on the attack that its director general, Mark Thompson, will address the attack in an upcoming speech and that it suspects involvement by Iran. Thompson has already accused the Iranian government of “jamming international TV stations such as BBC Persian TV” in an attempt to censor its news coverage.

The outages, the report said, could have been the result of a distributed denial-of-service attack, though a BBC spokeswoman told the news organization that she couldn’t provide more information on the specifics of the attack.

Iran was named one of the “Enemies of the Internet” in a report this week by the nonprofit organization Reporters Without Borders, which cited the country’s policies that block secure HTTPS connections and impose bandwidth regulations, as well as its decision to sentence Web developer Saeed Malekpour to death for “spreading pornographic material.”

Malekpour had created a photo-uploading site that he says was abused by other people, The Washington Post reported last week.

Related stories:

China testing cyber-attack capabilities, report says

Anonymous defaces security firm’s Web site in retaliation for arrests

Hackers charged in NY, Chicago hailed from homes with their share of discord

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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