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Internet outage in Yemen - Israeli hackers claim to strike the Houthis


Sat, 11-11-2023 02:38 PM, Aden

Sanaa (South24) 

Houthi-controlled internet services in Yemen were cut off for several hours yesterday, amid allegations of a cyber-attack carried out by an Israeli hacker group.

Local sources told South24 Center that services from internet provider YemenNet in Sanaa had collapsed on Friday morning and were down until noon.

On X (formerly Twitter), NetBlocks, a watchdog group that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance, reported the outage. The group did not specify a reason.

The Israeli hacker group ‘We Red Evils’, sometimes referred to as the Red Evils, following the incident announced that it had launched a cyber-attack on Yemen’s internet services as a response to the recent Houthi attacks against Israel.

A statement by the group on Telegram said: "It was a simple message to the Houthis. We were able to bring down the entire internet across the country in Yemen and cut off over 10 million people from the internet."

The statement was accompanied by a screenshot of the stolen data,  which they described as a record of the hacking of one of the major telecommunications providers in Yemen, with hundreds of thousands of users.

The hacker group vowed to launch additional, stronger attacks, saying "The next blow is tougher. We will continue to act and together we will win.”

The Israeli newspaper Maariv linked the internet outage in Yemen to the recent Houthi attacks on Israel with missiles and drones, of which there have been five over the past three weeks.

However, the Houthi Ministry of Communications in Sanaa claimed the outages were caused by “maintenance work” on the underwater cable that carries the internet into Yemen.

Incidentally, GCX, which owns the Falcon undersea cable that connects Yemen to the Internet, later released a statement on its official website regarding “scheduled maintenance work.”

“With reference to the recent internet outage in Yemen that was reported in some media, GCX confirms that a scheduled maintenance event took place on November 10 on the FALCON cable system," the statement said.

“This maintenance event was planned for the past three months and all relevant parties were notified, and it was successfully completed within the agreed maintenance window," the statement added.

Since 2015, the Houthis have controlled the communications and Internet sector in Yemen following their invasion of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Related: Telecom Companies are the Houthis’ Economic and Security Lungs in South Yemen 

The Iranian-backed militia has benefited from this sector, both economically and in terms of security. Their opponents have accused them of targeting military figures by exploiting communications networks.

Recently, the Houthis officially participated in the war against Israel, acting on behalf of the Palestinian factions.

The Houthis attributed several attacks on the city of Eilat on the Red Sea, the latest of which was on Thursday, to "Israeli crimes in Gaza."

South24 Center

North YemenYemenTelecommunicationsInternetHouthisIsraelPalestineEilatRed SeaGazaGCXUndersea cableYemenNet