Home Cyberattack Hits Government Websites in Senegal

Cyberattack Hits Government Websites in Senegal

cyberattack hits government websites in senegal

SENEGAL, AFRICA — In a recent development, a cyberattack allegedly claimed by the hacker group Anonymous has disrupted numerous government websites in Senegal. The attack comes at a time when political tensions are simmering in the country, just nine months ahead of a crucial presidential election. 

The @MysteriousTeamO account, believed to be affiliated with Anonymous, announced on social media that it had targeted various websites, including those run by the presidency, as well as domains associated with the government, defense ministry, health ministry, and even the national airline, Air Senegal.

Although most of the affected websites were restored by mid-afternoon on Saturday, access to some remained intermittent. NetBlocks, a global internet monitor, confirmed that the attack commenced around midnight on Friday and impacted “dozens of government websites, networks, and online services.” While sporadic restoration efforts were observed, the attack persisted, as stated by NetBlocks.

The @MysteriousTeamO account claimed that the attack was carried out in solidarity with Senegalese citizens and their right to choose their president freely. Government spokesman Abdou Karim Fofana acknowledged the incident, categorizing it as a distributed denial-of-service attack, which overwhelms the target with a deluge of internet traffic, disrupting normal functioning.

Amidst this cyberattack, Senegal finds itself in a tense political climate. The opposition has been critical of what it perceives as a growing crackdown by President Macky Sall’s government. 

The uncertainty surrounding President Sall’s potential bid for a controversial third term, coupled with the ongoing rape trial of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, has further intensified tensions in the otherwise stable West African nation.

Ousmane Sonko, who has refused to appear in court, alleging a conspiracy to prevent him from participating in the presidential race, embarked on a high-risk return to the capital, Dakar, on Friday. Sonko aimed to gather support along the way with a “caravan of freedom.” 

On Saturday, Sonko’s party announced the death of a 37-year-old father during the clashes, holding the authorities responsible. However, AFP was unable to independently verify the circumstances surrounding the reported fatality.

As the government works to restore normalcy to the affected websites, the cyberattack serves as a stark reminder of the current political tensions in Senegal, which continue to escalate as the presidential election draws near. – WhatALife!/Jayve

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