The Bournemouth University server taken over by Iranian hackers is still down almost three weeks after the cyber-attack took place.
The hackers uploaded a graphic image of a dead baby to the ‘dakar’ server, used by some students to do work as part of their course.
The Rock has taken the decision to blur the screenshot of the uploaded image due to its extremely graphic nature.
The server, was taken over by Milad Hacking and LinX64, members of the Ashiyane Digital Security Team (an Iranian security and hack group) and displayed graphic anti-Israeli content, in a “political protest”.
Latest attacks by the group are shared on Twitter using the hastag ‘#DEFACED’.
The website displayed an image allegedly of an unborn baby after it had been removed from its mother, which had been shot with “dirty Israeli bullets”.
The image had come from a file sharing website using Iran’s .ir domain.
The website also displays the name of the Ashiyane Digital Security Team, which is linked to the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – a branch of the Iranian military formed after the Iranain revolution – and is run Behrooz Kamalian.
The security team was founded in 2002 and claims to be the oldest hacking group in Iran.
A closer inspection of the server appears to show the attack took place between Friday, March 7 and Monday, March 10. The ‘dakar’ server was taken down shortly after and Bournemouth University is continuing to investigate.
The attack on the server caused some students to panic over whether their work had been deleted on the BA (Hons) Digital Media Design course’s Facebook wall.
Digital media design student Paul Bird, 20, who uses the server as part of his course said: “People have been worrying on our Facebook group that their work has been deleted, but fortunately it’s still there.
“They have overwritten the index.php, meaning you can’t display any other pages other than the one upload by the hacker.”
The index.php of a website is the default page which is displayed.
In October 2011, Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury put Kamalian on a list of targets for financial sanctions against Iran for human rights issues and was sanctioned by the EU as he “and his organization helped the regime crack down on protesters during the 2009 political unrest in Iran”.
Along with the baby image, a message was posted saying: “We Love Mohammad and Amir Rastegari,” referring to the deputy head of Tehran’s environment department for monitoring and supervision, who is also a rear admiral in the Iranian Navy.
The news was first published on The Rock website shortly after the cyber-attack, where it was then later shared on Iranian forums, triggering abusive comments from readers using Iranian IP address’.
Details of the BU investigation will be available on The Rock website when they become known.