Anonymous Targets Quebec, Canada
The Anonymous hacker threat continues. This time, they have targeted the government sites of Quebec, Canada.
The attack began with Anonymous posting a video detailing their intentions and frustrations with recent legislature in Quebec. As the video was being posted and viewed, several hackers in anonymous were able to take down 13 of Quebec’s government and police websites. This attack began as part of Operation Quebec, which seeks to add to the ongoing protests currently going on in Quebec.
On Wednesday, websites for the Quebec public safety ministry, the Liberal Party of Quebec, the Quebec coroner’s office and the Quebec police ethics commission remained out of order, or “under maintenance.”
This hack attack is retaliation from Anonymous as a result of The Quebec government trying to take away the right of peaceful protest from the people. Many college students were protesting the recent spike in college tuition costs in Quebec. The video that initiated the attack has since received over 150,000 views on YouTube.
According to Commander X, one of the leaders of Anonymous and the most publicly well-known member of Anonymous, the group had been discussing for weeks whether or not to get involved in the situation in Quebec. The group had previously gotten involved in several political actions in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries and movements.
“The passing of ‘Special Law 78’ has merely added a sense of urgency and forced us to take immediate action,” said Commander X, whose real name is Christopher Doyon.
The denial-of-service attacks launched Saturday also targeted the Montreal police, and several other government sites.
In a pre-emptive move, the Education Department took its own site offline – so hacktivists couldn’t. (The department’s site was attacked in April, following Premier Jean Charest’s off-the-cuff remarks about how students should get a job up north – “as far north as possible.”)
A spokesperson for the department said Saturday it will continue to take its site offline evenings and weekends.
Doyon estimated some 300 to 500 individuals around the world participated in these latest attacks on Quebec websites by flooding the websites with requests so they could no longer respond. “Even some folks from Anonymous Bahrain” took part, he said.
You know it’s bad when protesters in Bahrain become involved.
In an interview Saturday, Quebec Public Security Minister Robert Dutil said his department was taking the attacks seriously.
“Today with the Internet, there are hackers, who are capable of hacking,” Dutil told reporters. “We have to find a way to stop the hackers.”
Doyon said the attacks will continue, however, until the “draconian Special Law 78 is repealed or overturned in court.” Until then, he said, Anonymous will step up the pressure.
“The next phase of Operation Quebec will involve more advanced hacks of police and government websites, such as defacements and data dumps,” Doyon said, “combined with the dissemination of high-impact media such as videos and posters.”
In the meantime, other groups are also turning to the Internet to protest against the tuition hikes and/or Bill 78, which makes it illegal to assemble, protest or picket outside universities and CEGEPS, or anywhere in Quebec with more than 50 people without prior police approval