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Anonymous Sudan

Anonymous Sudan, a hacktivist group from Sudan, has gained notoriety for its religiously and politically motivated cyberattacks against Western countries since January 2023. The group’s activities have primarily involved conducting denial-of-service attacks against various targets to express their grievances and further their causes.

The hacktivist collective first drew attention when they launched campaigns under the hashtags #OpSweden and #OpDenmark, targeting Swedish and Danish organizations as well as critical infrastructure. Their actions were in response to the actions of far-right activist Rasmus Paludan, who holds citizenship in both Denmark and Sweden. Paludan’s act of burning a copy of the Quran in Sweden on January 21, 2023, and his vow to continue doing so in Denmark until Sweden joined NATO served as the catalyst for Anonymous Sudan’s attacks.

During the Sweden attacks, Killnet, a cluster of hacktivist groups targeting Western nations and countries opposing Russia, welcomed Anonymous Sudan as an official member due to their shared objectives. This affiliation allowed Anonymous Sudan to leverage the reputation and influence of Killnet, propelling them to become one of the notable hacktivist groups in 2023.

In March 2023, Anonymous Sudan embarked on a separate multi-day campaign, targeting medical facilities, universities, and airports in France. The motivation behind this attack was a cartoon depiction of the prophet Muhammad, allegedly referencing the controversial Charlie Hebdo caricatures. Simultaneously, the group leaked sensitive information from airlines and payment providers, claiming responsibility for hacking these organizations.

Expanding their reach, Anonymous Sudan shifted their focus to different parts of the world:

By April 2, 2023, the group redirected their efforts to Israel, supporting pro-Palestinian hacktivists in their operations under the hashtags #OpIsrael and #OpsPetir.
Following their activities in France, Anonymous Sudan joined forces with pro-Muslim hacktivist groups Mysterious Team and Team Insane PK in Australia, targeting the country under the #OpAustralia campaign.
Later in April 2023, the group declared India as their target, expressing solidarity with Indian Muslims based on a perceived Islamic cause.
In early May 2023, Anonymous Sudan launched campaigns against the United States, protesting potential interference in the Sudanese conflict.
In a disturbing turn of events, Anonymous Sudan resorted to extortion tactics in June 2023. The group started demanding millions of dollars from victims through Telegram messages while claiming to keep them offline with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Microsoft, one of the extortion victims, confirmed the involvement of hackers, as disruptions were observed across Outlook, Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Azure cloud computing platforms. The attackers focused on causing disruption and seeking publicity, likely utilizing rented cloud infrastructure and open proxy infrastructures to overload Microsoft servers with Layer 7 Web DDoS attacks using cache bypass and slowloris techniques.

Anonymous Sudan’s attacks are characterized by web-based DDoS attacks, employing alternating waves of UDP and SYN floods. These attacks originate from tens of thousands of unique source IP addresses, with UDP traffic reaching up to 600Gbps and HTTPS request floods exceeding several million RPS. To obscure the origins of their attacks, the group leverages public cloud server infrastructure to generate traffic and attack floods while relying on free and open proxy infrastructures to obfuscate and randomize the source of their operations.

As Anonymous Sudan expands its targets globally, organizations and governments must remain vigilant in strengthening their cybersecurity measures to mitigate the impact of these hacktivist attacks.

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