The website of South Africa’s ANC Youth League (ANCYL) was hacked last Wednesday afternoon, in what some believe is the start of a much larger cyber-war in the country.
Computer news website membrum.com reports the hackers gained administrative access to the site. A fake press release by ANCYL leader Julius Malema announcing his resignation from the political organization because he “had made a fool of [him]self,” among other “essential” reasons, was posted on the front page.
“The hacker then went on to expose the site’s directory structure, systematically deleting core config files (see screenshot below) before — we suspect — a backup was implemented,” membrum reports.
The attack happened hours before Malema was set to give a radio interview on Metro Drive FM. The website of the popular news-talk station was also defaced at the same time.
Although the website was repaired a few hours later, it was still experiencing errors over the next several days.
An examination of the source code of the attack shows someone named “Warbird” was responsible, although it is not known who exactly did it.
Hacktivist group Anonymous posted a video calling on the people of South Africa to overthrow their government on March 18.
Online marketing specialist Rafiq Philips told TimesLIVE, “There are some basic security measures you have to take care of when you build a website, obviously the youth league website was lacking.”
ANCYL spokeswoman Magdelene Moonsamy gave an Orwellian spin on the hacking to IOL News when she said,
“There is nothing that we are aware of at this point and there is nothing on our website.
“We do not have time for things like this.”
ANCYL spokesman, Floyd Shivambo, slammed down the phone on Times LIVE when they contacted him for comment about the hacking.