25 July 2014

Kenyan Army 'Good Target' for Cyber Attacks and We'll Carry Out More, Says Anonymous

Hacktivist group Anonymous may carry out more cyber attacks against the Kenyan government, one of its members has told RFI. A hack targeting the Kenya Defence Force and other government websites this week was in response to a cry for help regarding corruption. The hackers are also concentrating their efforts against Israel in light of the ongoing offensive in Gaza.

"Someone asked for help and we work for people across the world," said a member of the Latin American-based Anonymous cell.

Twitter accounts for Kenya's army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) were hacked on Monday. Messages such as "violence produces violence" and "spending money on AK47s" alongside images of hungry-looking children were posted.

Talking via encrypted online chat software, an Anonymous member using the handle Le Chiffre said that they "feel that there is a lot of corruption," but people "don't pay attention to Africa".

He said that it was the first time his group, Anon_0x03, had hacked targets in Africa, but it was a good idea and they would continue to "take other parts of the world".

Explaining their methodology, the hacker said that they work on many platforms and within different IT systems, in some cases they discover that Twitter accounts are linked to government websites.

Besides Major Chirchir's Twitter account and that of the KDF, Anon_0x03 also defaced the Reforms Kenya website, hit the Integrated Financial Management Information System website and Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons website. The Reforms Kenya website remains offline as of Friday.

Anon_0x03, which is made up of 5 members across the Latin-American region, denied that it had received any money for the hack, but instead proclaimed that it was a "war". They said they sometimes receive requests saying "hey Anon, we need help here".

In discussing other targets, Le Chiffre said that Israel was at the top of their list as well as Brazil. He described Israel's offensive in Gaza as "brutality from Israel army" which has made the government a target for Anonymous, "a free for all".

According to the Zone-H website which tracks defacement attacks against websites, the Anon_0x03 group has previously targeted websites in Ecuador, Mexico and Thailand.

The last major attack against Kenyan websites was in 2012 when an Indonesian hacker called Direxer reportedly took down 103 government websites.

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