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Hackers steal and publish e-mails from U.N. nuclear agency

The IAEA confirms its servers were breached and a hacking group claims responsibility demanding an investigation into Israel's alleged nuclear proliferation program.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Hackers have made their way into one of the servers of the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency, according to Reuters. The agency confirmed that the hackers stole information and published it online.

"The IAEA deeply regrets this publication of information stolen from an old server that was shut down some time ago," agency spokesperson Gill Tudor told Reuters. "The IAEA's technical and security teams are continuing to analyze the situation and do everything possible to help ensure that no further information is vulnerable."

A group that calls itself "Parastoo" claimed responsibility and posted the information online in a Pastebin document, which features a list of more than 100 e-mail addresses. According to Parastoo, the e-mails belong to people who "help" IAEA and should sign a petition "demanding an open IAEA investigation into activities at Dimona."

The IAEA confirmed that the e-mail addresses belonged to experts working with the agency, which is an international organization charged with ending the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. It also works on advancing the use of nuclear energy as an alternative means of fuel.

There are only five countries in the world permitted to have nuclear weapons, and Parastoo claims that Israel -- which is not allowed to amass such weapons -- is building them at its Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona.

This security breach comes on the heels of Anonymous' massive hacking campaign against Israel in protest of attacks against Gaza. Anonymous dubbed its campaign OpIsrael and attempted to take more than 600 Israeli Web sites offline or deface them. The group also released a list of thousands of individuals who supposedly donated to a pro-Israel organization.

Parastoo does not claim to be associated with Anonymous. It has threatened, however, to publish the whereabouts and personal and professional details of all the people on its email list.