Following a major disruption in the Iranian regime’s state-run broadcasting networks, Tehran has been on a drive to bring down the websites of the Iranian Resistance. Targets include the main website of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and more recently, the website of Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The regime is engaging in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in which the target website is hit with a large flood of fake requests in order to flood and overload the servers.
The first attack began on Thursday night, January 27, at 17:50 Tehran time, followed by two other attacks in the following hours, and the fourth wave on January 28.
The attacks, which were all thwarted, peaked at 2.2 million requests per second (RPS) on January 28. A fifth and sixth waves of DDoS attacks followed by January 31.
Having failed to block access to PMOI’s website, the regime turned its attention to the official website of Maryam Rajavi.
On January 31, there were more than 800 hacking attempts on the website in the span of a few hours. The regime has engaged in parallel efforts to find and exploit vulnerabilities as well as shut down the website through DDoS attacks.
The wave of attacks comes on the heels of a major disruption of state-owned media in Iran. On January 27, as many as 27 TV and radio stations of Iran’s state broadcasting network were disrupted, airing footage of Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
The disrupted sequence also aired visual and at times audio slogans of “Death to Khamenei!” in a reference to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and “Viva Rajavi!”
A crossed-out image of Khamenei was also shown on numerous state TV networks.
An audio clip of Massoud Rajavi was broadcasted, in which he says: “Today, we are still proud about the time that we declared death to the reactionaries. We stood by it.”
The outage triggered a wave of panic and confusion among the regime’s officials and experts.
“More than 400 TV and radio servers were offline and completely destroyed,” according to sources providing reports from inside Iran’s TV and radio networks.
The regime’s own experts described the operation as a complicated and multi-pronged attack that involved sophisticated technology.
But more important is the impact that the disruption has had on the regime’s propaganda apparatus. For a brief time, the channels that had spewed state propaganda for four decades broadcast the image and message of hope to millions of Iranians who want regime change. The incident was widely cheered and welcomed by the people of Iran, who are regularly chanting slogans against the regime’s state-run broadcaster in their protests.
The frenzied attempts to shut down the websites of the Iranian Resistance are further proof to the regime’s fragile state and its fear of the Iranian opposition and its leaders.