Cyber Attacks Grounds SaharaReporters Website

Popular citizen journalism website, Saharareporters.com, has come under cyber attack in the last three days from unknown  persons who have succeeded in grounding the site.

The attack was announced in a statement signed by news website’s publisher,  Omoyele Sowore, which was posted on its Facebook page.

The statement read: “During the period between Wed. Aug 14 and Fri. Aug 16, 2013,SaharaReporters has been under a severe denial of service attack. The attackers have used a multi-pronged approach to their attack.”

Sowore said the attackers used a botnet comprising some thousands of servers across the globe, to incapacitate the site a number of times during the period.

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“Their initial attack targeted a POST method attack to bypass the caching servers that normally prevent these types of attack. As soon as we were able to assuage the effects of that attack, the attackers switched their strategy and began bombarding the site in other ways. After responding to this methodology and getting the site functioning for the majority of the day on Thursday, the attackers again changed their strategy,” he noted.

“The third prong of the attack is called a SYN Flood attack, and it works by overloading the server with connection requests that linger for long periods of time. The SYN Flood began sometime early Friday morning and continues as of 2pm EST Friday afternoon,” Sowore said in the statement.

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While noting that this third phase of the attack has proven quite challenging to overcome, he assured readers that the website’s team of server administrators were working “very” hard to push past the challenge and get reporters back on line.

The publisher also noted that “since establishing Saharareporters.com in 2006, the website and operators have been subjected to series of attacks both in the cyber space, media platforms and through proxy lawsuits, we have been declared public enemies to the extent that one of the columnists associated with Saharareporters has been serially detained and harassed whenever he visits Nigeria”.

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He added: “While we cannot stop the powerful subjects of our groundbreaking reports from engaging in these cowardly attacks, we assure the reading public, especially our fans that nothing will stop Saharareporters and its affiliates from keeping up on the well-traveled path of exposing the characters responsible for the decimation of the dignity of Africans.”

A visit to the website this morning revealed that it still remains grounded.

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