Activist Group Targets Websites Operated by Tunisian Government

By Ed Silverstein January 05, 2011

Websites operated by the government of Tunisia were targeted and forced offline by an activist group which has also targeted sites from other locations they claimed were opposed to WikiLeaks.

The BBC reports that a group calling itself “Anonymous” targeted websites this week that are operated by the Tunisian Ministry of Industry and the Tunisian Stock Exchange. The attack may have related to human rights concerns in the country.

The same advocacy group had also targeted websites operated by the government of Zimbabwe.

"We are targeting [Zimbabwe President Robert] Mugabe and his regime in the Zanu-PF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing Wikileaks," the group said in a statement carried by The BBC.

Anonymous created distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to take down the official Tunisian websites  “by bombarding them with so much data that they can no longer respond to legitimate page requests,” according to The BBC.

Participating in a DDoS attack is illegal in many regions, The BBC reported.

Another site, 4Chan, has been taken down by a DDoS attack, too, according to a report from ITProPortal. The report claimed that many members of 4Chan are also members of Anonymous.

It is unknown whether the DDoS attack on 4Chan is related to the Tunisian attacks by Anonymous, according to ITProPortal.

In other news related to WikiLeaks, TechZone360 reports that the controversial website may be having a hard time paying its bills, but its embattled founder, Julian Assange, found a new way to raise needed money for the site, and maybe even some of his legal bills. He is apparently writing a memoir.

WikiLeaks gained global attention when it started to publish some of approximately 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables in late November, putting at risk U.S. policies and the lives of people mentioned in the classified cables. In response, many online services cut ties with WikiLeaks.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

TechZone360 Contributor

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