The online hacktivists group, Anonymous has once again attacked the east African country of Kenya in protest over the country’s police brutality against opposition protesters.
On May 16, in the capital Nairobi, opposition supporters took to the streets to demand changes to the country’s electoral process ahead of next year’s General Election. Kenya is due to elect its political leaders in 2017. Past elections in the country have been marred by violence.
The peaceful demonstration turned bloody when police started chasing protesters, using extreme force. Riot police used wooden sticks, water, and tear gas to break the demonstration. Some protesters were badly beaten to the point that some sustained life-threatening injuries.
Both local and international news outlets captured the police use of force, in still and motion images. One of the images, which went viral, was of a riot policeman seen lifting his hard boot to stamp the head of a helpless protester as he lay weak on the ground. Below is the image. It was captured by theAssociated Press news agency. Due to the outcry about the incident, it has prompted the Kenyan police administration to launch an investigation.
However, the disturbing incident in the country caught the attention of Anonymous once again. The Anonymous group known as World Hacker Team (WHT) attacked the Website of the Kenyan National Oil Corporation, leaking all data on the site to the public. WHT announced that the current attack is as a result of the actions of the police against the protesters.
In early May, Anonymous attacked the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kenya, leaking huge amount of sensitive data from its communication systems. That attack was part of the ongoing Operation Africa (OpAfrica) by Anonymous, which was launched last year against child abuse, child labour and corruption in many African countries. The first phase of OpAfrica has ended. Countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia and others were hit. Anonymous has said the second phase will focus on high-profile firms and organizations supporting corrupt practices and exploitations in Africa.
Although the data leaked by WHT from the National Oil Corporation is not of sensitive nature, observers say it shows the growing strength of Anonymous in Africa. It is said the leaked data related to survey management known as Content Management System. It includes details of employees, email addresses, and usernames on the site.
Hack Read reports that the leaked data can be accessed using Tor Onion browser. One of the WHT hackers, who played an active part in the operation, told the Hack Read in an interview: “Lately, there have been several cases of police brutality in the country and Anonymous wants the Kenyans to know we are with them.”
Officials from the Kenyan National Oil Corporation have refused to comment on the security breach of the company’s website. The government has also refused to comment on the incident. But from what we gathered, the recent attacks by Anonymous in the country are giving the government and other institutions a nightmare.
We shall be closely following the second phase of OpAfrica. It is believed that by the time the operation comes to an end on the continent, many corrupt dealings would be exposed to the rest of the world. Stay with us. Expect us.