Amid mass protests, ‘Anonymous’ topples Egyptian gov’t websites

By David Edwards
Friday, February 4, 2011 15:20 EDT
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Tunisian members of an online group of hacktivists known as “Anonymous” received attention Friday when Al Jazeera English profiled their efforts to attack Egyptian government Web sites.

“Anonymous” first attacked Tunisian government websites after the country blocked access to secrets outlet WikiLeaks. The group had also targeted PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and other businesses that appeared to have an anti-WikiLeaks agenda.

“We did initially take an interest in Tunisia because of WikiLeaks,” a member told Al Jazeera. “But as more Tunisians have joined they care more about the general internet censorship there, so that’s what it has become.”

At least eight Tunisian government Web sites were brought down as part of the attacks.

After the successful revolution in Tunisia, members of the organization turned their attentions to Egypt, which had restricted access to social media websites Twitter and Facebook. The “Anonymous” Facebook page “Operation Egypt” issued a dire warning to the Egyptian government.

“To the Egyptian Govt : Anonymous challenges all those who are involved in censorship,” the group wrote. “Anonymous wants you to offer free access to uncensored media in your entire country. When you ignore this message, not only will we attack your govt websites, we will also make sure that the international media see the horrid reality you impose on your people!”

A graphic on the Facebook page gave instructions for participating in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

One Tunisian member of “Anonymous,” who called himself Anon.M, told Al Jazeera that he was tasked with breaking into Egyptian government Web sites.

“I take down security barriers of Web sites so that people can enter and occupy the site and post their message to the Egyptian government,” he said. “So they know this Web site is ours now, and they can’t block freedom of expression.”

The New York Times reported Wednesday that about 500 members of the group worked together to successfully paralyze the Egyptian government’s sites.

Last week, the FBI announced mass raids in connection with “Anonymous” activities. In a similar effort in Britain, arrests were made and equipment was seized.

“These arrests aren’t going to have any effect,” Gregg Housh, a member of the group, told the Times.

The official “Anonymous” communications Twitter account declared their next target to be Italy.

This video is from Al Jazeera, broadcast Feb. 4, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • http://twitter.com/Takineko Valerie

    I AM SO SICK OF NEWS GROUPS REFERRING TO ANONYMOUS AS HACKERS!!! Anon’s are not all hackers!!! Rediculous. Basically what you just said was– a random group of people capable of hacking met up anonymously on the internet and many decided to attack Govnt’ websites.

  • http://twitter.com/Takineko Valerie

    Why were people arrested for trying to help give a separate country rights? How is that breaking British law, someone explain please.

  • http://twitter.com/Takineko Valerie

    “He calls himself Anon.M, his code within the Anonymous organization.”
    That’s alot cooler than what Anons would actually call him for having a name other than “Anonymous”.

  • http://twitter.com/rqskye Judith Frazier

    Italy is such an easy target. How about… China?

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    All your base belong to AnonymoUs

  • Anonymous

    No evidence of “topple.”

    Grow a “scruple.”

  • http://twitter.com/SunshineTheGrey Diana Sunshine Wulf

    “So they know this Web site is ours now, and they can’t block freedom of expression.” BRAVO

  • Anonymous

    This is what Anonymous is.

    Anonymous is you and me. It’s the person upstairs, it’s the guy down the block, it’s the boss, the nurse, the cop, the bum, and it’s you. You know that feeling you have. Anonymous is about people coming together to make a change. We are not talking about an economic change, or a constitutional change, or a minimum wage change. WE are talking about a societal change, cultural change, and a whole new paradigm. Anonymous is just that, anonymous people that help in the cause of battling those that infringe on others’ rights. Anonymous uses peaceful protest to hinder those that hinder FREEDOM.

    All you need to have to be in Anonymous is a simple computer program. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A HACKER. With this program, it joins a network of other pissed off people around the World, whom you do not know, and the network is run by a single person to engage in an “e-protest”. The program sends multiple signals to the targeted website, and when a network of computers are used at the same time, it essentially blocks their line or bandwidth. Think of it as a radio call in show. When they ask for the 25th caller, you can’t get through because the phones are loaded. This is what Anonymous does. There is NO law that is being broken. The authorities claim that it is covered under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. Computer Misuse Act only deals with unauthorized access or modification. There is nothing that states that what Anonymous does, is illegal. THREAT OF ARREST IS A HUGE BLUFF!

    Anonymous is just that. You are connected to a network of people that feel just like you. The MSM have us believe that we are all, just LEFT or RIGHT in this Country, and deliberately hide the angry, upset, and frustrated. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF US.


  • Anonymous

    There is so much disinformation about Anonymous and Assange, it’s sick. MSM is corporate owned, and they love their money and power….the PEOPLE are rising!

  • Anonymous

    Read my above post. The Corporate Establishment is scared shitless. The power that people have with this method is unimaginable. Why do you think there has been so much talk lately about a law that would allow a literal internet kill switch?

    Look what they did in Egypt too. They kill the internet, phones, and SMS, and then commit atrocities and mayhem. There were police trucks being driven into crowds of peaceful protesters, people beaten to death, people kidnapped, tortured, and threatened….

    It’s time to stand up people!!!!!!!

    Be the change you want to see in the World!

  • Balthazars Rebellion

    eric, thanks for the brief on Anonymous…a couple questions…once someone has the “program” and participates in the raid, how exposed is ones isp or location to fed investigators? I am seriously thinking about being a part of this, but I absolutely don’t want the feds knocking at mt door.

  • Anonymous

    Who will be victorious in Mubarak battle of old age and treachery when pitted against today’s youth and craft.

  • Anonymous

    thanks Anonymous! I would recommend folks be sure to use a proxy like Tor or some other such to ‘cover their tracks..’

  • Mr. Neutron

    Those Carthaginians have always been clever.

  • Anonymous

    First realization Tunisia is ancient Carthage I’ve seen in comments on events in Tunisia and Egypt. Most ignorant journalists simply refer to “the small country of Tunisia.” Idiots. Hannibal would b proud of you!

  • Anonymous

    am i not intended to see that man? because i can… very easily.. i dont think Al Jazeera has the whole “man in the shadows” concept down.

  • Anonymous

    If I was you, I would probably use a laptop. I would also probably find an open network that is not password protected, and surely not mine. I would also probably use a proxy, like lucky said…they are just ‘mask ip’ or ‘hide ip’ programs. But thats all hypothetical…

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan
  • Guest

    lololooololol go Anonymous! Screw dictators, and screw their torture-prone henchman vp picks too!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLHOKY6MFJ6MVKNZZHKMIJZ7AQ Ginny Troubadour

    cue usual comments

    “Anonymous is just a bunch of kids running LOIC” versus “Anonymous is a vast consortium of pedophile hacker geniuses with over 9000 penises”