Anonymous Sudan, a collective of hackers, has claimed responsibility for several Distributed-Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on critical online services in Kenya. These cyberattacks have affected the websites of government agencies, newspapers, and more. While some date back to a few days ago, some are quite recent with more promised to occur.
From Technext’s investigation which included joining the group’s Telegram channel, the reason for these attacks stems from the ongoing war of words between Kenya and Sudan. Worried about Sudan’s 100+ days of conflict, Kenyan President William Ruto recently proposed that East African troops offer peacekeeping support.
Angered by the seemingly genuine gesture, Yasirr al-Atta threatened to wipe out the troops should they be deployed. He vowed to view foreign troops as enemy forces regardless of their mission.
Aside from warning Kenya not to meddle in its affairs, the General also accused the East African country of siding with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). For context, government forces are fighting the RSF, a paramilitary army. Kenya has since condemned the General’s threat with its Cabinet Secretary of foreign affairs Korir Sing’Oei reiterating that his country was neutral.
From Anonymous Sudan’s Telegram page, Technext discovered that the group had covered many institutions in its wave of attacks. Among the victims is eCitizen, a portal where Kenyan citizens can access essential services like driving license renewal, visa renewal, and more. Given its vast portfolio of services, eCitizen is vital to the average Kenyan.
Regarding the site’s prolonged downtime, Daudi Were (@dkwere) tweeted “OK let’s get serious. #eCitizenKE down from a sustained attack is more significant than half the Cabinet going missing. @eCitizenKenya time to talk properly and seriously to @AfricaHackon and their friends for help.”
Taking pride in their work, Anonymous Sudan flooded its channel with screenshots of Kenyan citizens complaining about their inability to access eCitizen. The group also targeted the popular Kenyan newspaper, The Standard, a few days ago. In its report, the group claimed the attack lasted 10 hours.
Interestingly, Anonymous Sudan claimed it encountered zero hassles in launching the cyber offensive. It even called on it to improve its defences. In May this year, Senegal suffered a similar DDoS attack, though the culprit was another group called the Mysterious Team.
Highlighting Anonymous Sudan’s other attacks
Anonymous Sudan has taken the credit for similar attacks on other countries like Isreal, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France, and Australia. It even waged an offensive against tech giant, Microsoft.
While there’s not yet any confirmation, many information security analysts have linked Anonymous Sudan with a Russian hacker group called Killnet. The rationale for this is that both groups have similar methods of operations.
Some even go far as to claim that Anonymous Sudan isn’t affiliated with the country in any way. Instead, it is leveraging the conflict to target a Western-affiliated country, Kenya. Most of the group’s previous victims also share ties with the West.
How secure should Kenya (and Africa) be?
Two months ago, China was accused of hacking the websites of Kenya’s government, ministries and agencies to learn about its debt status. While China refuted the claim, it made many people question Kenya’s cybersecurity readiness.
As the bond between technology and the world grows, there’s a greater chance of groups utilizing cyber attacks to destabilize targets. Consider Anonymous Sudan. It claims to support Sudan, though it’s not clear whether the General sanctioned these attacks.
This event, alongside other happenings, should enlighten Kenya and the rest of Africa on the importance of being secure on all fronts. Africa must adopt modern cybersecurity practices to maintain its sovereignty. Its outdated systems should also be overhauled to make way for contemporary ones.
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