Anonymous Goes Old-School, Attacks Egypt With Faxes

With most of the Internet down in Egypt, hacktivists resort to the electronic equivalent of the carrier pigeon to get information into the country.


Anonymous is a loose organization of hacktivists best known for attacking its enemies–both corporate and governmental–via the Internet, by defacing websites or shutting them down altogether. But with most of the Internet down in Egypt, the folks at Anonymous are apparently resorting to a positively prehistoric technology: fax machines.

Members of the group are organizing to fax copies of the Egypt-related cables that WikiLeaks released today to schools in Egypt. The hope apparently is that if they can get the faxes into the hands of students, students will distribute them to other protesters. A source told Forbes the goal was to warn them that the police could not be trusted. The WikiLeaks cables, which describe human rights abuses and political arrests, “are just more proof of that,” the source said.

In a chat room used for coordinating activities, the group also discussed how to get information into Egypt about a French ISP setting up free dial-up Internet access for people in Egypt.

Earlier this week, as protesters in Egypt took to the streets and the government appeared to start blocking social networks, websites belonging to the Egyptian cabinet, the Interior Ministry, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology were taken offline–presumably due to denial of service attacks launched by hactivists. But the group is apparently backing off from that tactic, in order not to tie up the few Internet pipes that are still open in the country.

Earlier today, a press release was posted to the group’s website, calling on “governments of the world to take action and show the world that you are on the side of the people and their fight for freedom and democracy.” Two days ago, an Anonymous press release said the group would attack government websites. Today’s press release simply said, “We will take sides. We will support people who strive for freedom of speech, assembly and communication.”

[Images: Flickr users Abhisek Sarda and Timothy Tolle]


Read more of our coverage on the protests in Egypt.

E.B. Boyd is’s Silicon Valley reporter. Follow me on Twitter, or email me.

About the author

E.B. Boyd (@ebboyd) has holed up in conference rooms with pioneers in Silicon Valley and hunkered down in bunkers with soldiers in Afghanistan.