A hacktivist group calling itself “Anonymous Africa” has taken down the IOL.co.za news website through a denial of service (DoS) attack for “ignoring the genocide against the Ndebele people and for supporting a dictator”.
The hacktivist protest against IOL was announced on Twitter using the account @zim4thewin (Anonymous Africa) and on MyBroadband’s forum using the account “anonafrica”.
The hacktivist announced on MyBroadband’s forum that “as a hacktivist protest against the article, ‘Mugabe hero of African liberation’ on iol.co.za. AnonAfrica will be taking down iol.co.za with a DoS attack”.
According to the user anonafrica this was done to “protest the glorification of this mass murdering dictator. One response for the genocide of 20,000 Ndebele. This is the African spring”.
The hacktivist said that the attack on IOL will start on 11:00 on 12 June 2013, and true to the threat, the IOL website went down at 11:00.
“Your website is tango down for supporting the dictator Mugabe,” Anonymous Africa said on its Twitter account after the IOL website went down.
IOL editor Alastair Otter said that the initial technical analysis of their downtime points towards a DoS attack.
He added that they were not aware of any unhappiness because of their content before the attack, highlighting that the Twitter and MyBroadband forum announcements came very shortly before the attack.
Otter explained that IOL publishes content from a variety of sources, including 14 newspapers, which means that the article which caused the unhappiness could have originated from any of these sources.