SABC confirms hack attack on its websites

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Hacktivists have claimed responsibility for temporarily taking down SABC websites. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)
Hacktivists have claimed responsibility for temporarily taking down SABC websites. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Public broadcaster the SABC has confirmed that its websites were hacked on Sunday.

SABC websites ranging from those of its radio station 5FM to its main news portal experienced downtime for hours on Sunday.

A Twitter account belonging to a hacktivist group dubbed Anonymous Africa claimed responsibility for the downtime of the SABC websites.

READ: Hacktivists claim 'take down' of SABC websites

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Anonymous Africa said it was carrying out the alleged attack in light of allegations of censorship at the SABC.

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has blocked the broadcaster from showing burning of public property while he has further driven a controversial ‘good news’ policy.

Meanwhile, Anonymous Africa said it halted its cyber attack at 16:00 on Sunday. Just after 16:30, several SABC websites started coming back online.

“Our guys have found that there are people who hacked our system,” SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Fin24 on Sunday afternoon by phone.

Kganyago said the SABC was aware of Anonymous Africa’s claims, but that an investigation would be carried out into the hack attack to attempt to determine the culprits. Kganyago added that the broadcaster's technicians were working on restoring all its websites.

“It is a serious matter that we are not taking lightly,” Kganyago told Fin24.

Kganyago further called the hackers “cowards” and said that they had attacked a “national key point” by targeting the SABC websites.

Meanwhile, Anonymous Africa - which claims links to global hacktivist group Anonymous - has promised more cyber attacks against the SABC.

“We will stop the attacks at SABC (for now) at 4pm. We are not done yet, lots of action coming. Things are going to get wild!” tweeted the group on Sunday.

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