Anonymous attacked UAE's Airline

Anonymous Sudan, the pro-Palestinian and Russian hacktivist group, has taken credit for a series of Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS attacks) on Flydubai, an Emirati government-owned airline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The group’s latest claim closely follows their January 16th, 2024 announcement of targeting Thuraya Mobile Satellite Communications Company, an international mobile-satellite service (MSS) provider based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It is worth noting that in both cyber attacks, the motives revealed by Anonymous Sudan were the UAE’s apparent support to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for communication. Notably, RSF is a paramilitary force formerly operated by the Government of Sudan, accused by the hacktivists of committing war crimes against the Sudanese people.

The alleged cyber attack was announced on February 1, 2024, by the group through its official Telegram channel. Anonymous Sudan typically announces its attacks via Telegram, with no known website utilized by the group thus far.

“We have conducted a significant cyber attack on the digital infrastructure of FlyDubai. We have hit the most critical parts of FlyDubai’s digital infrastructure in one. We have confirmed that the network of Flydubai is completely disrupted. Attacks against the UAE will continue as they continue to support the genocidal Rapid Support Forces in Sudan. We therefore claim any damage to the overall health of FlyDubai systems and any collateral damage.”

Anonymous Sudan

Despite Flydubai’s official website remaining online, Anonymous Sudan claimed in a subsequent message a few hours later that Flydubai’s infrastructure, including the reservation system, had been severely affected, leaving the airline’s website as the only functional asset.

DDoS attacks have emerged as a significant concern for businesses of all scales. According to Kaspersky’s report, the DDoS economy is flourishing on the dark web, with an increasing number of cybercriminals setting their sights on critical infrastructure.

While there are DDoS attack-mitigating companies out there, the first line of defence is to secure your IoT devices from becoming a zombie for botnets utilized in such attacks. Therefore, whether you are an unsuspecting user at home or administering a large corporation, make sure your cybersecurity defences are as strong as possible.