Pro-WikiLeaks hackers attack Zimbabwe government websites

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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Robert MugabeHacktivists have struck a blow against the regime in Zimbabwe by attacking a number of government websites. The cyber-assault appears to have been in support of newspapers who published secret cables in the ongoing WikiLeaks saga, to the annoyance of the-powers-that-be in the country.

Grace Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, was recently reported to be suing a newspaper for $15 million after it published a WikiLeaks cable that claimed she has benefited from illegal diamond trading.

As news spread amongst the loosely-knit group of Anonymous hackers who support WikiLeaks, websites belonging to the Zimbabwe government and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party were hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and, in the case of the Finance Ministry, defacements.

Defaced Zimbabwe government website

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The Zimbabwe government’s online portal at www.gta.gov.zw and the official ZANU-PF website continue to be offline, and the Finance Ministry’s website now displays a message saying it is under maintenance.

Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance down for maintenance

A statement published on an Anonymous website offered an explanation for the attacks, which have been dubbed “Operation: Zimbabwe”:

We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the ZanuPF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing wikileaks.

Although many people are deeply concerned about corruption in Zimbabwe, I am certain that internet attacks are not the answer.

It seems kind of ironic to me that the hackers – who are engaged in actions seemingly intended to be pro-WikiLeaks and which they say are in the name of free speech – are using denial-of-service attacks that by their very nature prevent others from communicating.

And don’t forget, participating in a DDoS attack is against the law in many countries.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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