Hackers attack Ugandan prime minister’s site over ‘gay activism’

Hackers last week Tuesday attacked Ugandan prime minister’s website.

According to reports, Anonymous, a worldwide association of hackers, is once again rallying against the Ugandan government’s position on the LGBT community rights.

The hackers have collaborated with a collective called The Elite Society and atacked the prime minister’s site (opm.go.ug) and the one of the country’s Justice Law and Order Society.

The prime minister’s site was also defaced to host fake news articles title “Prime Minister to acknowledge gay pride week.”

Screen grabs on the site showed messages, including the prime minister Amama Mbabazi apologizing to the homosexuals living in the country and giving his support a gay pride march, from gay supporters being circulated on the social networking sites.

The hackers said: “We will not stand by while LGBT Ugandans are victimized, abused and murdered by a ruthless and corrupt government.”

“#TheEliteSociety and #Anonymous will continue to target Ugandan government sites and communications until the government of Uganda treats all people including LGBT equally and with respect, dignity and immediately ends the arrest and harassment of LGBT.”

In the recent past, the gay in Uganda have faced blatant social rejection with some becoming physically attacked.

Earlier this year, an anti-gay bill proposing the increase of penalties for homosexual acts to life imprisonment from 14 years was re-tabled in the parliament.

The bill was first introduced in three years ago although never debate.

The MPs in support of the legislation say a clause proposing the death penalty would be dropped.

Initially, the legislation stated that those found guilty of the homosexual acts – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – would face the death penalty.

Cases of hacking in the country have been on the increase lately prompting Uganda’s communications regulator the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has set up a specialised unit called CERT to deal with cybercrime, one of the world’s fastest growing crimes.

Cybercrime, although relatively new in Uganda, is growing at a fast rate. Recently, hackers infiltrated several government websites including those belonging to the Ministries of Agriculture and the Ministry of Defense, as well as that of the country’s top referral hospital the Mulago Hospital. The Uganda Justice Law and Order Sector website was also hacked last week.

The unit will keep an eye on Internet activities in the country and report high-tech crimes such as cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, online sexual exploitation and cyber frauds.

UCC’s director of technology and licensing Patrick Mwesigwa while presenting a paper at the 2012 Uganda National Internet Governance Forum held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Uganda’s capital Kampala, said specialized anti-cybercrime equipment and installation is expected to start in October.

He added that they expect the facility to be functional by the end of this year.

The project is expected to reduce access of cruel content such as malware, viruses and spam, as well as enhance security of online access in the country in Uganda.

Each year, cybercrime accounts for an estimated $105 billion in online property losses worldwide, according to a study by Global Cyber Security. The report also shows that there were at least 280 million Web attacks on individuals and organizations worldwide in 2010 alone.

UCC was created with the key goal of developing a modern communication sub-sector and infrastructure. Its roles include, licensing, regulating, infrastructure development and attending to rural communication service.

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