National blackout in Syria and political position of Anonymous

Pierluigi Paganini December 02, 2012

Recently I wrote a post to describe the national blackout occurred is Syria, the event officially justified by the regime as a technical problem but that according many experts it could be the result of Government censorship operation.

The collective of Anonymous is sure that Syrian regime was responsible for the national outage which purpose was to cut off communication channels used by opposition to spread news on the national situation.

Obviously the Syrian government blames “opponents” of the regime for the incident

“It is not true that the state cut the Internet. The terrorists targeted the Internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off.”

but many companies specialized in the providing of internet services considered the blackout really anomalous.

In a blog post CloudFlare provided information on network structure os the country

“The exclusive provider of Internet access in Syria is the state-run Syrian Telecommunications Establishment. Their network AS number is AS29386. The following network providers typically provide connectivity from Syria to the rest of the Internet: PCCW and Turk Telekom as the primary providers with Telecom Italia and TATA for additional capacity. When the outage happened, the BGP routes to Syrian IP space were all simultaneously withdrawn from all of Syria’s upstream providers. The effect of this is that networks were unable to route traffic to Syrian IP space, effectively cutting the country off the Internet. Syria has 4 physical cables that connect it to the rest of the Internet. Three are undersea cables that land in the city of Tartous, Syria. The fourth is an over-land cable through Turkey. In order for a whole-country outage, all four of these cables would have had to been cut simultaneously. That is unlikely to have happened.”



After a two-day blackout, that came during some of the worst fighting to hit Damascus, communications were restored in several cities including Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo.

The situation in Syria in really concerning, tens of thousands of people were massacred by the forces of al-Assad regime since March 2011. Anonymous has decide to take action with a new offensive, named #OpSyria, that has the specific intent to distroy every Syrian resource and service exposed on the web.

Following some of the tweets sent by cells of the collective:

“Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, wages a bloody and brutal war on his people who seek nothing more than self-expression in the face of oppression,”

In the message posted on Anonymous menaced Assad:

“We are warning you, Mr. Assad, to stop terrorizing the Syrian people, to stop censoring the internet, and to open up the country to the international media. If you do not do so then we are going to dismantle the Syrian government’s online network. Your fate is in your hands at the moment – one more wrong move and it’s in ours. This is not a joke. This is real.”

One of the first web site attacked is the one belonging Syria’s embassy in Belgium that was down since Friday, but it is just the beginning. Anonymous has demonstrated an high interest in political affairs recently first with #OpIsrael campaign against Israeli government and after with #opEgypt against Egyptian president Mohamed accused to have reinforced his extrajudicial powers.

As I have always said, Anonymous is a cyber force should always be considered.

Pierluigi Paganini

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