The 15 websites, which Now Lebanon describes as “redundant”, all featured the same message, calling for an improvement in living standards, and for the Lebanese government to bring an end to electricity and water shortages.
While some of the sites have since been restored, others still bear the folllowing message sent to the Lebanese government by the hackers:
We are RYV, short for Raise Your Voice, and we are simply a group of people who could not bare [sic] sitting in silence, watching all the crimes and injustice going on in Lebanon. We will not be silenced and brainwashed by your media. We will not stop until the Lebanese people mobilize, demand their rights, and earn them. We will not stop until the standards of living are raised to where they should be in Lebanon. We will not stop until this government’s self-made problems are solved, like the power shortage, water shortage, rise in gas prices and rise in food product prices. We are RYV, expect us to break the silence, whether in the streets or on the Internet.
In some cases, the message was also accompanied by a political cartoon, which can be seen in the screenshot below:
The second message, while worded exactly the same way was displayed in a different manner, having metaphorically shut down the ‘electricity’ on the website itself:
The websites that were hacked include the justice, foreign affairs and public works and transport ministries, as well as the National News Agency, the official President’s website, and the state security website. The full list of sites is available here.
While an additional site, MTV Lebanon was also targeted at the same time, RYV clearly stated that they weren’t behind it, saying “Just to make things clear, we are not responsible for MTV website attack,” despite statements from MTV made to local Lebanese newspaper Daily Star claiming otherwise.
In January, Energy and Water Minister, Gebran Bassil, warned of additional electricity and water cuts in the country. According to Reuters, after regaining access to the ministry website, Bassil replied to the hacking incident in a message posted on the site, in which he blamed his predecessor for the water and electricity shortage in the country.
Since then, the website has once again been hacked, visible in the screenshot above.