Hackers target Botswana's media


Websites belonging to Mmegi, a leading publication in Botswana, as well as that of its sister paper Monitor, have reportedly been hacked.

MmegiOnline developers, LifeMedia said the hacking is the most destructive attack in the 12-year history of the website.

"The website had thousands of files making up all the 12 years, so it could take about a week or even more to get them back from our back-up," said Garai Makaya, senior web developer, adding no site is 100% secure from persistent and sophisticated hackers.

The hacking is the second such incident after the publication fell victim to an attack in the first week of January.

Commenting on the development Mmegi editor, Ntibinyane Ntibinyane said: "This is clear act of intimidation by those hate the truth and despise the journalism profession. We won't cave into intimidation and we are working around the clock to ensure that the website is up and running as soon as possible."

Thalefang Charles, the New Media Coordinator at Mmegi said investigations have revealed that the attacks were elements from Botswana.

Media Institution of Southern Africa (MISA) Botswana chapter director Buyano Zongwane described the attacks on Mmegi website as "tormenting".

"It is worrying that someone could go all out to hack and delete a rich information resource like Mmegi website," Zongwane said.

We view this as not only aimed at hurting Mmegi, but also trampling on freedom of expression by the perpetrators," he added.

According to Google Mmegi receives an average of 40, 000 daily page views and over a million monthly visits around the world.