Cape Town - SABC confirmed on Monday that its websites were attacked by cyber group, ‘Anonymous Africa’. This is after claims were made by the group that they were responsible for shutting down the public broadcaster's sites.

This is not the first time that Anonymous Africa has made headlines. South Africa has had a number of noteworthy cyber attacks in the name of Operation Africa (#OpAfrica). According to Anonymous, Operation Africa is a campaign to deal with corruption, child labour and censorship.

In February, Anonymous launched a cyber attack against the SA government database as part of #OpAfrica. Identities, details and passwords of approximately 1500 government employees were posted online.

One hacker, who goes by the Twitter handle of @TobitowTHA and described himself 'to be part of Anonymous', was reported to have defaced over 200 South African sites. He indicated that the cyber attacks were in support of #OpAfrica.

In the same month, the Department of Water Affairs website was attacked. Usernames and passwords were revealed as well as highly sensitive financial data and details of projects.

In May, New World Hackers (one of the cyber groups participating in the #OpAfrica campaign) attacked the University of Limpopo's website. Other than leaking exam papers, the details of over 18 000 students were leaked. According to NWH, the university “should know not to code their website with vulnerabilitys all over the place.”

In June, Anonymous Africa claimed to have shut down the EFF website in response to the party being 'openly racist' and having despotic agenda. The shutdown of the website is yet to be confirmed.

There are divided views on hacker groups. Some commend Anonymous for their actions, others think its questionable. Regardless of public opinion, Anonymous shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

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IOL MOJO