Report from the Citizen Lab

Click here to read the post in Farsi.

Simurgh is an Iranian stand-alone proxy software for Microsoft Windows. It has been used mainly by Iranian users to bypass censorship since 2009. The downloadable file is less than 1 MB and can be downloaded within a reasonable amount of time even with a slow internet connection, which makes it convenient for many users in Iran. Simurgh runs without prior installation or administrator privileges on the computer and therefore, can be copied and used from a USB flash drive on any shared computer (i.e Internet cafes).

Simurgh is available for free download from its official website After running the executable file, a user interface (see below) opens. When the user clicks “Start”, Simurgh will attempt to establish a secure connection. The web browser will then open a new window to provide users with a test page, confirming their secure connection originating from a different country.

It has recently come to our attention that this software is being recommended and circulated among Syrian Internet users for bypassing censorship in their country. This information led to the discovery and analysis of a back-doored version of this software.

The malicious copy will install the Simurgh software, but will also install an undesirable backdoor on the victim’s computer.

Click here to read the full report.