The Egyptian branch of the online hacktivist Anonymous conducted a massive cyber attack on Egyptian government websites in solidarity with protesters killed in August 2013.
On Thursday, the Egyptian presidency website went offline, which in reality was a hacking attempt made on the site. The attack was carried out by an Anonymous group, told a Cabinet spokesperson, Hossam al-Qawish.
“A group of individuals attempted to hack our websites on Thursday but their attempt was unsuccessful,” Hossam al-Qawish, told Al Arabiya News adding that “the hackers did not hack any of the major systems.” The official told.
According to Qawish, only the main page of the website was hacked for a few minutes without any significant damage to the systems or the data.
Website of the Cabinet Decision Support Center (IDSC) was also attacked parallel to this incident and was temporarily closed down by the technical team.
Other hacked sites belonged to Ministry of tourism, ministry of planning, Supreme council of press, Center for Information and Decision Support, Egypt information portal, Egyptian Observatory site, National Planning Institute and several other high-profile government-owned sites.
After the incident, Anonymous Rabaa accepted the responsibility of the attacks and assured that attacks will keep coming.
The group further said:
“Where are the rights of those who were killed in Sinai or the rights of the police officers that were killed in explosions; where are the rights of those who died on 25 January or those who died in Rabaa or at the Presidential Palace clashes of 2013? Why do you insist on dividing us when we should be one hand?”
Furthermore, the group also posted screenshots and video footage about the alleged human rights abuse in the country and how they hacked into the websites.
The deface page left by the hackers on Egyptian government websites:
The group though denied of being the part of Egypt’s banned Islamic movement but announced itself as the defender of rights of people who were killed at the Rabaa square.
Back in 2013, protesters at Rabaa square were killed by security forces when they asked the protestors to go away peacefully but continued persistence from protestors made security forces open fire.
In August, Cairo airport website was attacked and website remained down temporarily. The website’s homepage showed four-fingered Rabaa right with a statement “The revolution continues”.
We are not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood: Hackers
This airport attack marked the first anniversary of the massacre and that was a reminder from the group to the government.
The current government of Egypt has been actively working on the crackdown of Islamist groups; imprisonment of President Mohammed Mursi is one of many crackdowns made by the Egyptian government. This has though led to opposition from many different groups.
At the time of publishing this article, all targeted websites including the Presidency (presidency.gov.eg) were offline.