Hacktivists claim ‘take down’ of SABC 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 - A group claiming to be part of hacktivist network Anonymous says it has launched a cyber attack on SABC websites.

The main SABC website as well as other websites belonging to the public broadcaster - such as that of 5FM and SAFM - were either unavailable or slow to load on Sunday around midday.

READ: SABC confirms hack attack on its websites

A Twitter account belonging to a group dubbed Anonymous Africa has claimed responsibility for the downtime.

Anonymous Africa said it is carrying out the attack in light of alleged censorship at the SABC.

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has controversially moved this year to block the broadcaster from displaying visuals of the burning of public property.

Motsoeneng has also come under fire for pushing a sunshine news editorial policy at the SABC, which involves showing more good news stories.

“Attacks against all SABC entities now underway,” said a tweet from Anonymous Africa on Sunday.

“You have heard of the Arab Spring? Well now its time for the #African Summer!” tweeted Anonymous Africa.

The Twitter account further said on Sunday that it had carried out a 'Distributed Denial of Service' (DDos) attack against the broadcaster.

This type of cyber attack involves flooding a website server with thousands of requests that eventually disrupt the website.

Update

Meanwhile, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago late on Sunday afternoon confirmed to Fin24 that the broadcaster's websites had been hacked on Sunday.

"Our guys have found that there are people who hacked our system," Kganyago told Fin24 after 16:20.

"It is a serious matter that we are not taking lightly," Kganyago added.

Kganyago further said that SABC technicians were working on restoring the broadcaster's websites.

The SABC spokesperson further slammed the hackers for being "cowards" for attacking what he called a "national key-point".

The hacktivist group said that it stopped its attack at 16:00 on Sunday, but at 16:06 the SABC websites were still down.

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