Independent Online (IOL), a news website based in South Africa, has come under cyber attack because of the media group’s alleged support of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.
The denial of service (DoS) attack led to the organisation’s Internet and e-mail systems going down at 11am today, according to Alastair Otter, editor, IOL.
Prior to the attack, a group calling itself Anonymous Africa, with the Twitter handle @Zim4thewin, tweeted: "Please note everyone. Today #IOL will be attacked for ignoring the genocide against the Ndebele people and for supporting a dictator."
Further tweets added: "@IOL Tick tock 3 minutes left until the African spring tidal wave hits your corrupt mouthpiece" and "@iol You are now tango down! for crimes against humanity!"
A subsequent tweet stated: "IOL bad boys bad boys what you ganna do, what you ganna do when they come for you."
The news agency’s website and related services were restored by 1pm. Otter said: "As a news organisation that includes more than a dozen newspapers as well as online properties we publish a range of opinions, including some that may not be popular.
"Publishing these does not imply that we agree, or disagree, with those views. We pride ourselves on allowing and publishing a multiplicity of views. It is unfortunate that anyone could use this simple principle of media as an excuse for an attack on us."