THE website of the African National Congress (ANC) was on Friday brought down by a so-called hacktivist group from Zimbabwe calling itself “Anonymous Africa”.
“The ANC has noted that someone calling themselves Anonymous (Africa), and claiming to be the legitimate representative of the people of Zimbabwe, has flooded the website of our organisation,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
Attempts to access the ANC.org.za website before noon on Friday resulted in an internet browser error message saying the page was not available, though the site was available again soon after.
The website suffered a denial-of-service (DOS) attack, meaning its servers were flooded with so much traffic that they were overwhelmed and readers could not gain access.
A Twitter account allegedly belonging to the hacker behind the attack tweeted minutes before the ANC website was shut down: “tick tock tick tock, your site will stop working in 40 minutes. think about all the blood on your corrupt hands when it is down”.
The account, which claimed to have stopped the attack after an hour, also tweeted: “u will get your website back in a min. hope you reflected on your choice to support a person who killed 20,000 ndebele”.
On Wednesday, Anonymous Africa briefly shut down about 50 websites, including Independent Newspapers’ Independent Online (IOL) in South Africa, through a DOS attack.
It justified the attack on the grounds that the Independent website was “ignoring the genocide against the Ndebele people and for ‘supporting’ a dictator”. The group was protesting against an opinion piece on the Sunday Independent website claiming that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was a heroic African leader.
On Friday, Mr Mthembu said the ANC and the South African government would continue to work with the government and people of Zimbabwe to help them find a lasting solution to the problems in their country.
“The ANC will not be deterred or derailed in the efforts to assist, where requested, in Zimbabwe, or elsewhere on the continent,” he said.
“Acts of deliberate sabotage, such as the one on our website, should serve only to strengthen the resolve of all stakeholders to constructively engage in a free and democratic manner.”
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