Anonymous Africa cyber hackers shut down Gupta-linked websites

Hacktivist group Anonymous Africa apparently downed the websites of Gupta-linked media outlets and companies on Wednesday afternoon.

By 15:10, the websites of Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, news channel ANN7, and companies Sahara and Oakbay Investments were offline. By 4pm, both media websites were back online, but Sahara and Oakbay were still offline.

Twitter profile claiming to be that of Anonymous Africa live-tweeted the apparent shutdown on Wednesday afternoon. 

While Anonymous Africa refers to a company called ‘Datapro’ – presumably the company hosting the attacked Gupta-linked websites – the Mail & Guardian was unable to find a hosting company by that name. Instead, when attempting to access, the M&G was directed to company Vox Telecom. It is unclear whether Vox Telecom has any links to the websites apparently attacked by Anonymous.

Earlier on Wednesday, Anonymous Africa tweeted about the planned attack on the Gupta-linked websites:

The group referred to a ‘Distributed Denial of Service’ (DDoS) style hacking attack, which involves flooding a web server with traffic from bot computers in order to overwhelm the server.  When the web server can’t cope with such a large amount of traffic all at once, it often results in a disruption of a website’s services, and the site goes down.

Other ‘attacks’
Anonymous Africa has linked itself to attacks on other major South African websites this week.

On Sunday, public broadcaster the SABC confirmed to Fin24 that it was the subject of a hack attack that resulted in several of its websites going down for hours on that day.

Anonymous Africa claimed responsibility for the attack while the SABC said it was investigating the matter. Anonymous Africa said it carried out the attack in light of allegations of creeping censorship at the SABC.

Then on Tuesday, Anonymous Africa threatened to down the website belonging to political party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF.

The hacktivist group said it was attacking the EFF website because of what it said was the political party’s alleged “racisim”.

The EFF website subsequently experienced several hours downtime on Tuesday amid the threats, according to reports. – Additional reporting by Fin24

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