Ransomware

Cyberattacks On Kyrgyzstan As Mob Violence Erupts

Amidst the physical violence, 's digital infrastructure is under severe attack from various hacktivist groups.

by Samiksha Jain May 20, 2024 in Firewall Daily, Hacker Claims Reading Time: 4 mins read 0

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Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is currently reeling under severe mob violence and escalating , marking a turbulent period for the nation.

The recent upheaval, primarily targeting foreign students, has drawn significant international attention and diplomatic concerns, particularly from India and Pakistan.

The Catalyst for Chaos

The unrest began on the night of May 17-18, following a viral video allegedly depicting a fight between Kyrgyz and Egyptian medical students on May 13.

The video, which rapidly spread across social media, purportedly showed Kyrgyz students in conflict with Egyptian students. This incident triggered widespread mob violence, with locals directing their aggression towards foreign students, exacerbating tensions in Bishkek.

Despite the lack of verified evidence that the individuals involved were Kyrgyz youths, the video sparked significant social unrest.

The ensuing chaos resulted in 28 injuries, including three foreigners, prompting riot police to intervene and cordon off areas where mobs had gathered. Footage circulating online showed mobs attacking foreign students in the streets and even within dormitories, creating an environment of fear and hostility for international students.

Cyberattacks on Kyrgyzstan Compound the Crisis

Amidst the physical violence, Kyrgyzstan's digital infrastructure is under severe attack from various hacktivist groups. These coordinated cyberattacks on Kyrgyzstan have targeted critical governmental and private sector systems, exacerbating the already volatile situation.

Several hacktivist groups are involved in these cyber assaults:

  • Team Insane PK has allegedly attacked the Ministry of Agriculture, the Education Portal of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Saima Telecom, the Climate Monitoring Platform (http://climatehub.kg), and multiple universities including Osh State University and Kyrgyz State Medical Academy.
  • Silent Cyber Force, another Pakistan-based group, has also allegedly targeted Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Agriculture.

Source: X

Source: X

  • Golden Don's has allegedly launched cyberattacks on the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Kyrgyzstan Visa Website, and Kyrgyzstan Turkish Manas University.
  • Anon Sec BD from Bangladesh has allegedly attacked MBank and Finca Bank.
  • An individual hacktivist known as ‘rajib' allegedly targeted Kyrgyzstan's railway's official portal.
  • Sylhet Gang has allegedly disrupted the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kyrgyz telecommunication network Nur, causing significant outages.

Furthermore, there are claims that the Mysterious Team Bangladesh is planning future cyberattacks on Kyrgyzstan.

Source: X

One of the hacktivist groups, Silent Cyber Force, posted a message titled “Greetings Citizens Of The World,” condemning the violence against foreign students and declaring their intention to take down Kyrgyzstan's governmental websites and large networks.

Their message explicitly mentioned targeting various international adversaries but stated that the current focus is on Kyrgyzstan due to the perceived inaction of its government in protecting foreign students.

Source: X

Despite these threats, the official websites of the targeted institutions appeared to be functioning normally when accessed. This raises questions about the hackers' actual capabilities or possible tactical delays in executing their threats. The full extent and impact of these cyberattacks on Kyrgyzstan will become clearer once official statements are released.

The Implications and the Need for Vigilance

The combination of physical violence and digital attacks underlines the critical need for enhanced security measures in both physical and cyber domains. These cyber-threats not only disrupt governmental operations but also pose significant risks to essential services that affect both citizens and foreign nationals in Kyrgyzstan.

The current situation in Kyrgyzstan highlights the vulnerability of digital infrastructure during periods of social unrest. Hacktivist groups are leveraging the chaos to further their agendas, targeting key institutions and spreading fear and disruption. The ongoing cyberattacks on Kyrgyzstan demonstrate the importance of cyber threat intelligence and the need for comprehensive cybersecurity strategies to protect national infrastructure.

In response to these developments, it is imperative for Kyrgyzstan to strengthen its cybersecurity defenses and enhance its physical security measures to safeguard all residents, including foreign students.

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