Zimbabwe to combat attacks by cyber activists

HARARE, Zimbabwe—A minister says Zimbabwe is making efforts to increase security on its government websites to prevent cyber attacks.\r\n

On its website, a cyber activist group called Anonymous says it brought down Zimbabwe websites last week to protest the government’s censorship of free press and WikiLeaks cables. President Robert Mugabe’s wife has sued a newspaper that published WikiLeaks reports implicating her in illegal diamond deals.

Zimbabwe’s IT minister said Monday that they are "dealing with" threats by the pro-WikiLeaks group to cripple the websites.

Most of the government’s websites were up and running Monday in a nation where power outages and technology breakdowns are common.

Anonymous last month blocked the web portals of some credit card companies that restricted payments to WikiLeaks.

Cyber activists took down Zimbabwean government Web sites, apparently in support of the WikiLeaks whistle-blower site, a computer security firm said Monday.

Sites of the government and Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party were hit by distributed denial-of-service attacks and, in the case of the Finance Ministry, defacements, Sophos reported. The government’s www.gta.gov.zw and the party site were still offline Monday.

A statement published on an "Anonymous" site explained "Operation: Zimbabwe."

"We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the ZANU-PF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing WikiLeaks."