The activist group ‘Anonymous’ has attacked websites belonging to the Yemeni and Egyptian governments in support of protests
Hacktivists in the loosely affiliated group “Anonymous” painted a bull’s eye this week on websites belonging to the governments of Yemen and Egypt.
Members of the group launched DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks against a number of sites, including the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the country’s Ministry of Interior.
Support for protests
“Welcome back to the Internet, #Egypt. Well, except http://www.moiegypt.gov.eg – you stay down. #Jan25 #OpEgypt #Feb4,” the group tweeted on 2 February.
The attacks are believed to have been carried out in support of protests against the Egyptian government. According to The New York Times, Gregg Housh, a member of Anonymous, said the group organised about 500 supporters in online forums to bring down the sites for Egypt’s Ministry of Information and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party. Housh personally disavowed any illegal activity.
“We want freedom,” Housh reportedly said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re sick of oppressive governments encroaching on people.”
Following the cyber-attacks on Egypt, the website of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, presidentsaleh.gov.ye, was knocked offline on 3 February following calls by Anonymous members for attacks on the site.
The attacks marked another in a long list of websites taken down by the group. In December, Anonymous was credited with DDoS attacks against several businesses and organisations in retaliation for the crackdown on WikiLeaks. Last month, police in the UK arrested a mix of teenagers and adults for taking part in the attacks.
On 27 January – the same day as the UK arrests – the FBI executed 40 search warrants tied to the investigation of the December attacks.
Housh was quoted as saying that the arrests will have little effect.