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General News    H2'ed 2/4/11

Anonymous, Wikileaks joins Yemen's "Day of Rage"

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Anonymous has been active in attacking websites of Arab Governments
Anonymous has been active in attacking websites of Arab Governments
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The Anonymous group of hacker activists has taken down the Yemeni Ministry of Information's website in coordination with the "Day of Rage" protests against the government led by Yemen's Islamist reform party on Feb. 3rd. Wikileaks has also released a single embassy cable detailing "rampant corruption" in the Yemeni government in the early morning hours of Thursday.

In a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, Anonymous took down the Yemeni Ministry of Information's website along with other government sponsored websites, including the president's official website.   Anonymous took down the Egyptian Ministry's website on Jan. 25th in coordination with the anti-regime protests in that country in a similar fashion. A DDoS attack involves a piece of software called LOIC (Low Orbital Ion Cannon). In the attack, several hackers use this software through botnets, groups of virtual users, to eat up a website's resources through incredibly high traffic, making the website unavailable to normal users.

Wikileaks released a single cable originating from Sana'a on Thursday morning in coordination with protests. The cable details rampant corruption in the ROYG (Republic of Yemen Government) and how such corruption impedes foreign investment and development. "Rampant official corruption impedes foreign investment, economic growth, and comprehensive development. Corruption and greed are also closely related to Yemen's dangerous SA/LW proliferation," the cable described. Wikileaks released cables dealing with the abuses conducted by the Mubarak regime in Egypt in coordination with the Jan. 25th protests in Cairo as well.

Yemen's "Day of Rage" protests follow Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh's pledge to not seek reelection when his term ends in 2013. The protests are being led by Yemen's Islamist reform party, Islah, and Hamid al-Ahmar, son of influential Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar. A leading figure in the Islah party and prominent businessman, Hamid al-Ahmar is believed to be eyeing a bid for the presidency when Saleh steps down in 2013.


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Jeb Boone is a freelance journalist based in Sana'a, Yemen. He regularly contributes to the Sunday Telegraph, the Independent, the Guardian's Comment is Free and Global Post. Boone is also the managing editor of the Yemen Times.
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