Hackers have disabled the website of a large Iranian airline, Mahan, on Sunday, sending messages to customers claiming they also accessed sensitive information.
A top Mahan Airlines manager confirmed the cyberattack but said this is not the first time hackers have disrupted its computer systems. The company also said all flight operations continue, but the state aviation organization
Meanwhile, a group called Hooshyarane Vatan (Observants of the Fatherland) send text messages to Mahan’s customers accusing the airline of being part of the Islamic Republic’s repressive machine that has killed thousands of protesters and innocent people.
The group also accused Mahan of being part of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Quds Force (QF) and claimed to have accessed documents proving that the company was part of IRGC’s “criminal activities”, including money laundering.
The United States sanctions Mahan in 2011 alleging that it served the Quds Force and transported weapons to Syria where Iran has supplied arms and fighters to President Bashar-Assad’s forces in the decade-long civil war.
The group also published texts in English on its Telegram channel, saying, “We’ve found Mahan does keep records of its suspicious business with QF under the name ‘Hamrah’, and that this business is managed by sardar (general) Golparast.” The group added that Golparast is also listed as the owner of Qeshm Fars Air which “is a known QF cover company, frequently used to transport munitions throughout the Middle East.”
Israel and the Islamic Republic conduct hacking operations against one another, but in the past two years, sabotage activities against Iran have expanded, with mysterious explosions and fires at sensitive nuclear, military and industrial sites.
Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility experienced two large explosions, one in 2020 and another earlier this year. Some believe that digital intrusion could be a factor in these successful operations widely attributed to Israel.
The Hooshyane Vatan, that seems to have revealed itself just days ago, in their statements frequently refer to Ahvaz, the capital of the oil-rich Khuzestan province and a favorite label by Iran’s Arab separatists and activists.