The management of The Next Edition, a Nigerian emerging investigative news medium, says it is facing cyber-attacks from through persistent attacks on its website by hackers who have been traced to Mexico, Germany and the United States.
Managing Editor of the newspaper, Mr. Ibanga Isine, disclosing this in a statement said: “the cyber-attack was so intense on Monday, June 18, that our platform was taken down for over nine hours, forcing our technical team to work overnight to clean the malware and block further invasion on the site.”
He disclosed further that investigations traced the attackers’ location to Mexico on latitude 25.6866, and longitude 100.3167 and their IP address as 22.214.171.124.
Shedding more light on the attacks, Ibanga said “… the aggression was carried out from Hotel Son Mar located at Av Alfonso Reyes 1211, Col Obrera, Sarabia, 64490 Monterrey, N.L., Mexico. He also gave the contact address of the hotel as ±52 81 8125 1300 and the URL as sonmar.com.mx”, and the IP address of the attacker from the US as 126.96.36.199 with username: Admin3, hostname: leaseweb.com and location as Manassas.
He revealed that the attacks began after the newspaper completed and was about to publish a major investigative report.
On her part, the Editor-in-Chief of the Newspaper, Ms. Victoria Ibanga, said the whole affair was a “deliberate and criminal attempt to stop the legitimate course of truth and an assault on free speech and freedom of the press.”
She said further: “We want to bring to your notice that we have come under severe attack on the cyberspace during the past few days and continuing. The enemies of free speech were successful in pulling our platform down and for nine hours would not allow us to carry out our legitimate duties of informing, educating and entertaining our audience and holding power accountable to the people.”
Ms Ibanga vowed that the medium would not be intimidated but continue to do everything within the limits of the law to remain online and carry out its duties adding that although they have reclaimed the platform, the attackers were still making serious attempts to compromise it.
The Management of The Next Edition therefore urged all practitioners and owners of online media to join hands in fighting “these criminals by exposing them and ensuring we collectively carry out our legitimate duties without let or hindrance.”