South Africa

‘Daily Maverick’ ‘under cyberattack’ after Modi plane saga report

Daily Maverick has allegedly come under attack from Indian computer servers after it published a story about India‘s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apparent refusal to disembark from his plane in South Africa ahead of the 15th Brics summit.

The summit is being hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Daily Maverick on Wednesday reported that Modi refused to leave his aircraft at Waterkloof Air Force Base because the South African government had only sent a Cabinet minister to officially welcome him instead of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Eventually, Ramaphosa sent Deputy President Paul Mashatile, who had to leave an official state visit with China’s President Xi Jinping, to welcome Modi.

Cyberattack  

Daily Maverick said since publishing the story, it has been subjected to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

“Several hours ago, the site suddenly went down. We picked it up very quickly and started identifying a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. We investigated and found it was coming from a whole host of Indian servers,” explained Daily Maverick’s security coordinator on Wednesday afternoon.

He said the attack was ongoing, but the publication had implemented a firewall to temporarily block Indian traffic to protect its site.

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Muzzle?

Daily Maverick Editor-in-Chief Branko Brkic said the motive for the attack may have been to curtail people reading the article.

“It was obvious that the purpose of this attack is to deny the people of India access to this story as no attempt was made to hide the source of the attack. This left us with no option but to block the entire domain of India to protect the integrity of the site.

“Despite these attempts and subsequent denials by Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s office, Daily Maverick stands by its story and will continue to report on o developments,” Brkic said.

Daily Maverick said it has been investigating ways to make the article accessible to India but “the attack is so large, it’s proving difficult”.

What is a DDoS attack?

A DDoS attack is described as a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, network or website by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic.

During a DDoS attack, a site is flooded with bot traffic with the intention of taking it down for a period of time, Daily Maverick’s security coordinator explained.

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