Hacktivists have struck a blow against the regime in Zimbabwe by attacking a number of government websites. The cyber-assault appears to have been in support of newspapers who published secret cables in the ongoing WikiLeaks saga, to the annoyance of the-powers-that-be in the country.

Grace Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, was recently reported to be suing a newspaper for $15 million after it published a WikiLeaks cable that claimed she has benefited from illegal diamond trading.

As news spread amongst the loosely-knit group of Anonymous hackers who support WikiLeaks, websites belonging to the Zimbabwe government and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party were hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and, in the case of the Finance Ministry, defacements.

Source, and a picture of the hacked site, here.

Comments

  1. #1 Stacy
    January 2, 2011

    From Wikipedia – One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable.

    I don’t think I’d define that as hacking.

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    January 2, 2011

    Stacy, they also hacked the Ministry of Finance website to add a message. What it’s supposed to accomplish, I’m not sure, but they did break in.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 2, 2011

    I love the fact that their message was “All your base are belong to us”

    If that meme happens to not have hit southern Africa, it may have required the Ministry if Intelligence and Secret Police to figure that one out.

    See:
    http://sophosnews.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/zimbabwe-defacement.jpg?w=640

  4. #4 MadScientist
    January 2, 2011

    Since they’re hijacking other people’s computers to do the job, their work is considered a criminal offense in many places around the world. However, the net is a very big place and it’s rarely ever easy to figure out who the crooks are.

    @Stacy: It’s not hacking at all, it’s cracking other peoples’ computers and using it to waste resources. Unfortunately people seem to write ‘hacking’ every time even when it’s clearly ‘cracking’. At any rate, the ultimate target is not what’s cracked, it’s the numerous zombified computers which are used for the attack.