Massive cyber attack over past few days on PRAAG websites

praagorg_logoOver the past few days, starting on Tuesday morning, a massive cyber attack involving potentially tens of thousands of computers in a so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attack was executed against websites and servers of PRAAG. The object of the attack was to bankrupt PRAAG and its service provider through the consumption of bandwidth and damage to network infrastructure.

At times the DDOS attack brought down the PRAAG servers but currently both the Afrikaans site at praag.co.za and the English one at praag.org are online.

Dr. Dan Roodt, Director of the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group (PRAAG) a community news service and cultural organisation, said in a statement: “We are absolutely astonished at the level of cyber activity currently directed against us, by extremist anti-Afrikaans groups in South Africa. There are also several Facebook pages run by people under assumed identities who wish to shut us down, ostensibly because we support anti-crime protests and multilingualism in South Africa.”

The cyber attack caused considerable damage not only to PRAAG, but also to its service providers and their networks, creating criminal liability under SA legislation. In addition, there are grounds for a civil suit if the perpetrators could be located.

“We are going to lay charges with the SAPS under the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act 25 of 2002 for the DDOS attack against us, but also against those anonymous individuals slandering us on Facebook, social media, and in relation to potential advertisers on our site, said Roodt.

“We are not going to take these attacks lying down,” Roodt continued. “Our readers and supporters are right behind us and hundreds have presented themselves as volunteers to counter these attempts at muzzling us. However, we will not be using the distasteful and underhanded techniques of our opponents but will be defending ourselves in an open, transparent and legal manner.”