Anonymous claims cyberattacks on Turkey, declares cyber-war

Anonymous claims cyberattacks on Turkey, declares cyber-war

Anonymous claims cyberattacks on Turkey, declares cyber-war

Still image from Anonymous video #OpTurkey

Hacking collective Anonymous has claimed responsibility for the week-long cyberattack on Turkey, which it accused of “supporting” the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and threatened additional attacks in case the alleged support continues. 

‘Turkey is supporting Daesh [ISIL] by buying oil from them, and hospitalizing their fighters. We won’t accept that Erdoğan, the leader of Turkey, will help [ISIL] any longer,” the group has said. 

Accusing Turkey of providing financial and logistic support to the militant group, Anonymous also threatened to launch more cyberattacks unless Turkey “stops supporting” the group.

“We will continue attacking your internet, your root DNS, your banks and take your government sites down,” it said. “After the root DNS, we will start to hit your airports, military assets and private state connections. We will destroy your critical banking infrastructure,” the group added. 

The Anonymous attacks come only weeks after a similar accusation by Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family was involved in illicit oil trade with ISIL.

Turkey and Russia has been waging a war of words, in addition to economic sanctions by the latter, since Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on Nov. 24 for violating Turkish airspace. 

Erdoğan challenged his Russian counterpart Putin to either prove his claims or resign. 

“Implicating my family with these accusations is especially immoral,” Erdoğan said, arguing that even Russians themselves did not believe in the claims. 

Meanwhile, a U.S. special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs refuted Putin’s claims that Ankara was profiting from an illegal trade with ISIL, explaining that the amount of oil smuggled into Turkey is “extremely low, has decreased over time and is of no significance from a volume perspective.”

The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) also denied the claims and refuted footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry allegedly showing trucks carrying ISIL oil to Turkey. The trucks in the footage were actually carrying oil from the KRG to Turkey’s Ceyhan port, head of the KRG’S energy commission said. 

Turkey has been experiencing cyberattacks that started on Dec. 14, targeting nearly 400,000 websites with the extension “.tr.” The cyberattack nearly came to a halt in the morning hours of Dec. 21, and recovery and damage assessment has been launched by leading IT organizations along with Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).

Turkish IT professionals in response banned access to the DNS from abroad and communication channels were re-opened when the cyberattack first started. Around 400,000 websites, however, were denied access from abroad.

IT professionals initially thought Russia was behind the cyberattack.