Anonymous takes on Tunisian Government


Hacking group Anonymous has turned its attention to Tunisia and appears to have had success in taking down the Government's official website.

At the current time, the site is not loading following a call from Anonymous to help Tunisians break free of what the group called "oppression."

"This is a warning to the Tunisian government: attacks at the freedom of speech and information of its citizens will not be tolerated," a statement from Anonymous on AnonNews read.

"It's on the hands of the Tunisian government to stop this situation. Free the net, and attacks will cease, keep on that attitude and this will just be the beginning."

The new campaign comes hot on the heels of another Anonymous call to launch strikes against Zimbabwean websites. Again, human rights issues were the focus of the hacktivists' ire.

Operation Zimbabwe included distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against various websites, including those of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Finance Ministry.

Anonymous said it had taken all news content from the Finance Ministry's site offline, replacing it with the following message: "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."

A person speaking on behalf of Anonymous said: "We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the ZanuPF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing WikiLeaks."

Anyone planning to join such campaigns may want to keep in mind that DDoS attacks are illegal in the UK and many other countries.

The Anonymous group became famous in 2010 for its work against organisations that dropped support for WikiLeaks, in particular MasterCard and PayPal.

Many security experts believe hacktivism will again grow in prominence this year, as noted in our look at what to watch out for in 2011 in the security sphere.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.