The truth behind the "Armenian spies" story

For about 2 weeks, a story titled as "Armenian spies in Turkey are revealed" has been circulating, but the information included in the story is not confidential. The information is just a part of visa applications to Armenia.

For about 2 weeks, a story titled as "Armenian spies in Turkey are revealed" has been circulating. In this story, there are the images of some passports belonging to people who are claimed to be spies working for Armenia. The source of this story was a social media message of Azerbaijani hacker group called “Anti-Armenia Team". 

This group claimed that they hacked Armenia National Security System (NSS) and obtained some confidential information, including information about spies working for Armenia.

And the media organs in Turkey added something to the original story and claimed that there are images of those “spies” taken in HDP rallies. However, the information obtained by the Azerbaijani hacker group is not confidential; it is just a part of visa applications to Armenia. And "the pro-HDP spies working for Armenia" are just some people who made a visa application. Moreover, "the hack" is not new, it happened in 2013. And international cyber-crimes experts say that it is not even hacking and probably someone working in NSS took the application files from the computer.

The incident revealed through a message of “Anti-Armenia Team” shared on their Facebook account. Afterwards, “Turkish Hack Team” supported them, causing the story to spread in Turkey as well.

Passports of children

We asked cyber-security expert Samvel Martirosyan if this hacking is real, which institution has the hacked server and what kind of information is obtained. Martirosyan said that the hacking incident is real, but happened 3 years ago. The archive of visa application is preserved in the servers of NSS. However, Martirosyan also said that not the server, but only the visa archive is hacked. “In the files claimed to be confidential, there are even the images of the passports of children.”

In the “confidential documents” released by Anti-Armenia Team, there are the passport information of people from various countries, including Afghanistan, Georgia, Russia, China, India, Turkey, England and the US. Armenian hacker group called “Monte Melkonian Cyber Army” confirms that the documents are from visa applications made in 2013.

It is not even hacking

Experts from England-based website “the Register” examined the documents that are claimed to be obtained by hacking. The experts think that this is not hacking, rather “an insider action”.


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Fatih Gökhan Diler