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Last December 19, Egyptian telecommunications companies in three African countries (Egypt, Sudan, and Tanzania) were subjected to electronic piracy operations, according to what was published. Sites Information kit.

An Iranian hacker group called “Muddy Water” claimed responsibility for the attack. attackwhich comes after similar attacks, but between Israel and Iran, against the backdrop of the war on the Gaza Strip, and its repercussions in southern Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

A day earlier, an Israeli hacker group claimed responsibility for Cyber ​​attack At Iranian gas stations, it calls itself the “Sparrow of Predator.”

At the same time, Cairo did not officially announce – until the moment this report was published on the “raise your voice“- Any of its companies experiencing external cyber damage, despite the fact that the country’s main Internet network was exposed to a major crisis at the beginning of December 2023, prompting the Egyptian government-owned Telecom Company to compensate its customers with “10 GB” on their packages.

In its official statement, the company justified the Internet outage as a “technical malfunction in one of the main network devices,” without disclosing the reasons.

Over the past years, Iran and Israel have been viewed as the most prominent players in the field of cybersecurity in the region, due to the great progress they have made in developing their offensive tools against each other.

But this time, Egypt’s inclusion in the attack map raised questions, especially since it is considered a key player in the diplomatic process and ongoing negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Gaza. It is also the only corridor for any kind of aid to enter the Strip, and hundreds of Gazans with dual nationalities moved through it to escape. From the fires of war.

Why Egypt?

Cyber ​​activities aim to collect information. Archival – expressive

Dot Mint technical officer, Mohammad Youssef, says, “The Iranian group usually exploits a backdoor vulnerability in one of Microsoft’s automation and management programs, which is the Power Shell program, which allows the person mainly responsible for the system (Administrator) to carry out tasks.” Different operating systems on all company devices, including the ability to control devices remotely.”

He added to “Raise Your Voice,” that “the hackers’ success in controlling the PowerShell program gives them many powers to control the operating system, and here lies the danger.”

An example of this, Youssef explains: “The operation that Muddy Water carried out against an unnamed Arab country, through which it gained access to important files, passwords, and government mail messages.”

It is expected that “these attacks will be more dangerous and the extent of their losses will be greater even in light of the amount of leaked information not being announced, due to the Iranian group’s success in developing its attack method after inventing a new framework called (Muddy C2Go), which gives it a greater ability to penetrate, and thus Obtain more information.

For his part, digital transformation consultant, Dr. Muhammad Azzam, describes the recent attack as an “interesting event.”

He told “Raise Your Voice”: “The use of electronic attacks as one of the methods of indirect warfare has become common in the world, as happened in the US presidential elections and during the Ukraine war.”

“This incident is linked to the Egyptian government’s position on the crisis in the Gaza Strip. It is a means of putting pressure on Egypt to accept demands it rejects,” Azzam adds.

He continues: “Everything that happened was fully monitored by the Egyptian cybersecurity sector, which follows an integrated plan to secure the state’s cyber sector, in a manner no less efficient than what developed countries implement in this field.”

“Muddy water”

The country’s main Internet network was hit by a major crisis at the beginning of December

According to analysis Sequoia company According to Tehran’s cybersecurity philosophy, Iran was exposed to two major events in 2009: They are: the “Green Movement,” when Ahmadinejad’s opponents used the Internet to organize mass demonstrations against his re-election, and the electronic attack on nuclear centrifuges, which was attributed at the time to America and Israel.

According to “Sequoia,” this year represented a turning point in Tehran’s pursuit of a comprehensive strategy to use the Internet and cybersecurity to achieve political goals and enhance its regional influence by attacking forces opposing it.

according to US Cyber ​​CommandTehran has used a number of hacker groups as a threat tool against the countries of the Middle East and North America, and its attacks focus on targeting the communications, gas and oil sectors.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia was subjected to one of the most violent electronic raids the region has ever known, after the “Shamoon” electronic virus attacked tens of thousands of devices of Saudi Aramco, which is classified as the largest energy company in the world.

Since 2017, according to American assertions, Mudwater, which is linked to Iranian intelligence, has been active in carrying out attacks against Israel, but it has expanded the targeting area to include other countries in the Middle East.

A year later, Saudi Arabia was subjected to the second version of the “Shamoon attacks” after a violent cyberattack succeeded in leaking huge amounts of data on Aramco devices, amid Saudi and American accusations that Iran was behind this attack.


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