Anonymous Sudan hacked X because they want Starlink in Sudan

Anonymous Sudan has taken responsibility for X's (formerly Twitter) outage, stating that it is pressuring Elon Musk to launch Starlink in the country.

Anonymous Sudan hacked X because they want Starlink in Sudan

Sudanese hacktivist group known as Anonymous Sudan said it is responsible for the outage that affected X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. Downdetector, a website that tracks problems with online services, reported over 2,700 incidents in the UK and thousands more in the US. The downtime lasted for more than two hours.

According to the BBC, the group executed the hack to pressure Elon Musk into launching Starlink in Sudan. "Make our message reach to Elon Musk: 'Open Starlink in Sudan'," reads a Telegram post by the hacktivist group working to "benefit Sudan and Islam".

Although several reports previously said that the group was from Russia, the British national network confirmed that two members of the group, Crush and Hofa, sent images of their Sudanese passports. "Our long-term goal is to show the world that Sudanese people, although with limited capabilities, have very good skills in many different fields," Crush, the group's spokesperson told BBC.

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Earlier this month, Anonymous Sudan said it is targeting Nigerian companies to protest the threat of military action in Niger, alongside other sanctions. This was confirmed by the National Information Technology Development Agency which also issued an advisory, but it did not name the hacktivist group. 

In February, Nigeria became the first African country where Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its internet service, Starlink. Since then, it has expanded its operations into Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Sierra Leone with plans to launch into more African countries later this year and next. However, its launch date in Sudan is unknown, according to the Starlink availability map.

Although Starlink or Elon Musk has not made any public statement on the issue, the delayed launch is likely due to the socio-political unrest in Sudan.

In April, violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, resulting in the displacement of over 3.3 million people, including internally displaced people, asylum seekers and refugees. Before the current conflict, Sudan had already been grappling with violence and displacement since the onset of the Darfur crisis in 2003, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

During the current conflict, several Sudanese residents have been using social media to mobilise for safety and aid. However, this has been affected sometimes by internet outages. "Internet connectivity has saved lives since the start of the conflict, and its absence will make it more difficult for residents to avoid danger and stay safe," said Isik Mater, director of research at NetBlocks, a global organization that monitors internet freedom.

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