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Anonymous Sudan Hacks X to Put Pressure on Elon Musk

Hackers from Anonymous Sudan take action against X in a bid to exert pressure on Elon Musk.
Hackers from Anonymous Sudan take action against X in a bid to exert pressure on Elon Musk. Credit: Anon Atlas / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

A group of hackers known as Anonymous Sudan caused X, which used to be called Twitter, to go offline in many countries on Tuesday morning. They did this to pressure Elon Musk to start his Starlink service in their nation.

X has become the latest target of this hacking group, which claims to work in favor of Sudan and Islam. Over a span of several weeks, there have been private conversations with the hackers via Telegram. During these discussions, the hackers revealed their methods and reasons.

One member of the group, who goes by the name Crush, informed that their attack on Tuesday overwhelmed X’s servers with an excessive amount of internet traffic, causing the service to go offline. This type of hacking is known for its straightforward and relatively simple approach, which is a signature characteristic of this group.

Another hacking group member, Hofa, explained that their DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack aimed to raise awareness about the ongoing civil war in Sudan. This war has resulted in poor internet quality and frequent regional outages.

Reports of outage by Downdetector

According to Downdetector, a website that tracks service outages, nearly twenty thousand reports of the outage were filed by users in both the US and the UK. This disruption likely impacted a much larger number of people.

As of now, X has not made any public statement regarding the disruption, and Elon Musk has not responded to inquiries about launching his satellite internet service in Sudan.

Accusations from cybersecurity experts

Anonymous Sudan has faced accusations from various experts in the field of cybersecurity. Many suspect that the group might actually be a covert Russian cyber-military unit operating in disguise while creating cyber disruptions that may benefit the Kremlin. This is all done under the guise of a foreign hacktivist organization.

This theory arises from the fact that the group openly expresses support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and their motives seem to align with other hacking groups within Russia.

Despite these suspicions, the group consistently denies any Russian affiliation. In an unprecedented move, they have shared evidence that their operations are based in Sudan.

Crush, who serves as the group’s main spokesperson and plays a significant role, provided real-time location information through the Telegram app as a form of proof. Furthermore, both Crush and Hofa shared images of their Sudanese passports and additional screenshots that suggest their presence within Sudan.

No indication of hackers lying found

While it is possible to create fake evidence with varying levels of complexity, after weeks of discussions with cybersecurity expert Intel Cocktail, there is no indication that the hackers are being dishonest.

“Our long-term goal is to show the world that Sudanese people, although with limited capabilities, have very good skills in many different fields,” Crush stated.

Back in June, the group expressed support for the Russian government in an ongoing rebellion led by Wagner forces. Crush clarified that their motivation stemmed from a similar experience in their own country, during which Russians had shown support throughout a challenging time.

He referred to Russia’s assistance to the Sudanese government during an ongoing civil war. He firmly asserted that their group is comprised of a “small group” of Sudanese hackers who carry out these attacks from within the country, despite frequent disruptions in internet service.

Cyberattacks on different institutions

Since its emergence in January, Anonymous Sudan has effectively disrupted numerous organizations and government websites in France, Nigeria, Israel, and the United States.

Over the past month, the group has targeted Kenya with their attacks, asserting that the Kenyan government is interfering in Sudanese matters. One notable attack caused significant disruptions to Kenya’s eCitizen portal, which is utilized by the public to access more than five thousand government services.

When questioned about the impact on ordinary citizens, Crush defended their actions by stating, “The reason we hit infrastructure is to teach the country and its rulers a lesson, and yes we have red lines, that is if our attacks harm a lot of innocents.”

Nonetheless, the group has made unsuccessful attempts to attack hospitals.

In June, the hackers celebrated when the US cyber authority issued an official alert regarding attacks targeting American organizations. The alert highlighted that these attacks can lead to organizational disruptions, financial costs, and potential damage to reputation as services and resources become inaccessible.

One of their most notable attacks took place in June, causing disruptions to Microsoft services such as Outlook and OneDrive. This compelled the technology giant to release a report offering guidance to customers on how to safeguard themselves from the actions of this group.

Desires of the hacking group

The group asserts that its unlawful actions are driven by a desire to “defend the Truth, Islam, and Sudan.” However, on at least two occasions, they have attempted to extort victims for Bitcoin.

They have also directed their efforts towards websites such as OnlyFans, Tumblr, and Reddit, criticizing them for promoting what they deem to be “disgusting smuts and other LGBTQ+ things.”


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