Tehran, May 26, IRNA-Hackers targeted the website of presidential candidate Ali Larijani Wednesday, defacing his home page which resulted in its subsequent crash, an aide said.
The site www.larijani.ir was attacked by "unknown elements during which main contents of the site were hacked and replaced with other sentences and minutes later the site totally crashed," the official in charge of the website announced.
"Ill manners like these unfortunately come in the early days of the electoral campaigning, serving as a warning to the related officials," he added.
Officials at the public relations department of Larijani's electoral headquarters were trying to maintain the site 'as soon as possible', he said.
A message on its home page reads: "The website www.larijani.ir is currently undergoing emergency maintenance. Please try the site again later." The incident came only few hours after campaigning for the June 17 presidential election began. Larijani's electoral headquarters had also to deny reports that he intended to pull out of the race in favor of other candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"Unfortunately, this news is mostly being spread in the press by the supporters of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani," it said in a statement, denouncing the report as part of a 'psychological war'.
Larijani is the former head of the state broadcasting, who is running against nine other contenders in the election.
The other qualified candidates are former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ex-police chief Mohammad Reza Qalibaf as well as Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps.
Two other candidates -- former minister of higher education Mostafa Moin and Vice President Mohsen Mehralizadeh -- had their qualifications reinstated after initially being barred from standing by the supervisory Guardian Council.
They were among more than 1,000 aspirants who were disqualified from the election as the Guardian Council expressed frustration with the high number of registrations.
The supervisory body's spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham had stated that some of those turning up to register were only doing it for 'fun'.
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