unknown people on Thursday morning managed to hack The Independent Post website http://www.independentpost.net and in turn made the website inaccessible to its readers.
Meanwhile, an anonymous email to The Independent Post, supposedly from the hackers indicates that the Zambian Watchdog is the next website to be hacked.
Independent Post editor Ruth Zulu confirmed the development saying the attack is expected to have had happened between 01:00 hours and 06:00 hours on Thursday and went on up Friday afternoon.
“What basically happened is that when on Thursday morning, we wanted to update the website as per routine, our website was unreachable. Initially, we were of the view that maybe it was just an internet problem.
“We used different internet providers but the problem persisted . When finally later in the day we managed to go through, it was discovered the hacker changed all the passwords. So, the only way was to ask our web hosts to delete our website and find a way of restoring it without it losing its contents,” said Zulu.
She explained that although it was quiet difficult to carry out the procedure, the IT specialists in Lusaka finally managed to reposes the website on Friday afternoon but with certain stories, and other vital components deleted.
“The hacker looked through our emails and deleted all our email accounts. He did quite a lot of damage but thank God we have managed to work on everything,” said Zulu.
She added that the matter is yet to be reported to the Zambia Information Communications Authority (ZICTA). She also said that The Independent Post still has no crew on who might have been responsible for the hacking but only said that whoever did so must be well equipped in terms of hacking software as the website is well-protected from such attacks.
And an email, which was received by the Independent Post shortly after the restoration of the website and its old email accounts in which the sender claimed responsibility for the hacking indicated that the Zambian Watchdog was their next target.
“Since we have succeeded in getting hold of your site, your friends at Watchdog are next,” read the email in part. Efforts to trace the IP address from which the email was sent proved futile.
But in terms of hacking, the Zambian Watchdog has on several occasions indicated that it uses complicated technology which protects its website against hackers. All the same, Zulu said she will be sending an email to the Zambian Watchdog administrators officially warning them about the threat.
[Source: The Independent Post]
Watchdog comment: The Watchdog is aware of the hackers sponsored by the PF government to wipe out all Independent news websites in Zambia.
About K5 billion tax payers money has been released to government agents and some have been sent to China and other countries to learn how to hack websites. Even though we hear that most of this money has been used on beer and prostitutes.
The only sites that PF want to remain on-line are those working for the PF like UK Zambians which is run by the PF branch in London and Lusaka Times which was initially on the hit list but has of late developed a cordial working relationship with State House.
We have taken note of the attack on the Independent Post but we feel the Watchdog, hosted in the same servers with Wikileaks, is secure. The attacks on the Watchdog happen almost on a daily basis but they are warded off.
We have been always ready for this, even in the likely event that the armature but well paid hackers manage to bring down the Watchdog, we would restore it within 24 hours.
We also fell that reporting the matter to ZICTA is playing in the hands of the enemy. ZICTA is the lead government agency in hacking independent news websites in Zambia so reporting to them will be manner from heaven. They will gladly ask to ‘check’ your computers and God knows what they will leave on your system.