Sudanese group brings down Elon Musk’s firm, asking for Starlink satellite


X sign is seen on the roof of the headquarters of the social media platform previously known as Twitter, in San Francisco, on July 29, 2023. — AFP
X sign is seen on the roof of the headquarters of the social media platform previously known as Twitter, in San Francisco, on July 29, 2023. — AFP

Tech billionaire and CEO Space Elon Musk’s X — formerly called Twitter — came under cyber attack from a Sudan-based hacking group which kept thousands of users away from the platform for hours in an attempt to grab attention from the 52-year-old entrepreneur for offering their country Starlink satellite service.     

Anonymous Sudan — the group behind hacking X — wrote In a Telegram post that “make our message reach to Elon Musk: ‘Open Starlink in Sudan.'”

The website Downdetector received nearly 20,000 reports of outages logged by users in the US and the UK.

While speaking to a hacker group on Telegram, BBC revealed that Tuesday’s attack flooded Elon Musk’s X’s servers with huge amounts of traffic to take it offline — the same blunt and relatively unsophisticated hacking methods for which the group is known.

Starlink satellite antennas are seen at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), the international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, on August 31, 2023. — AFP
Starlink satellite antennas are seen at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), the international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, on August 31, 2023. — AFP

Hofa — a member of the hacking group — noted that the so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was targeted at raising awareness about the war in Sudan which is “making the internet very bad and it goes down quite often for us”.

Despite the attack, Musk’s company has not yet confirmed the outage.

Based in Sudan, no links with Russia

The hacking group Anonymous Sudan is regarded as an alleged gang associated with a Russian cyber-military unit tasked to cause chaos in cyberspace Moscow.

The allegations are backed by the group’s apparent support for Russian President Vladimir Putin — who has been recently accused of assassinating Wagner Group Chief Yevgeny Prighozin in a plane crash outside Moscow — and alignment of motives with other hacking groups in the country.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. — AFP
Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. — AFP

However, according to BBC, the group denies association with Russia.

BBC report indicated that the members of the group sent pictures of their Sudanese passports and other screenshots suggesting they were in Sudan.

“Our long-term goal is to show the world that Sudanese people, although with limited capabilities, have very good skills in many different fields,” said Crush.

The gang in June posted a message in support of the Russian government to end the mutiny led by Prighozin’s Wagner.

Crush explained that “a similar thing happened to our country and Russians stood with us so we wanted to pay them back”, referring to Russia’s support for the Sudanese government as it fights the ongoing civil war.

He insisted that their group is made up of a “small number” of Sudanese hackers who are launching the attacks from the country in spite of regular internet outages.

Since its emergence, it has been able to cause disruptions in France, Nigeria, Israel and the US.



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