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Why Zimbabwean websites are increasingly getting hacked (list of hacked sites)

Hacked Again
   

Hacked AgainIn recent months, each time we’ve posted an article about a high profile website being hacked – such as the story about Fingaz today – what follows is a number of tweets, emails and phone calls with readers basically ask: What’s going on? Why has the hacking increased so much? Why are Zim websites being targeted?

We attempt to answer these questions in this article. You can also add your views, thoughts and questions about the situation in the comments below.

No, no one’s maliciously targeting Zimbabwe

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No, no one is targeting Zimbabwean companies and websites. We have observed that all of them so far are random defacement. This is why for example you will find that the same hackers that hit the ZOL and Fingaz websites also hit hundreds of other unrelated websites globally with the same defacement message around the same time.

Specially targeted attacks are more brutal than these random hits. A good example is “Operation Avenge Assange”, an attack on PayPal and other websites which was executed by the “Anonymous” hacking group to avenge attempts by some governments and global companies to cripple Wikileaks funding. More here: Operation_Payback#Operation_Avenge_Assange.

No, the rate of hacking has not increased at all

What we see increasing is the number of new Zimbabwean websites. Which is really great we should add, all thanks to free open source tools that make anyone who can use the internet a creator of content able to start their own website. More websites however means more of them can be hacked but that doesn’t mean at all that the rate of hacking has increased.

The hacking is just reported more than before

Website hacking and defacement is not a new phenomenon. It’s been happening to websites locally and globally since the internet came to be and some actually suggest the unscrupulous practice has seen a decrease in recent years. Lately however in Zimbabwe’s case, blogs like us report these cases more. In the past, such issues would just go unreported.

Just to underscore that point, we’ve inserted at the bottom of this article a list of the websites of some known Zim brands (the .co.zw ones at least) that have been hacked since 2001, the majority of which were never reported in the news.

Why do hackers hack websites?

For numerous reasons; some do it purely for fun, some to tests their newly acquired knowledge about computer security, some as a form of Hacktivism to protest political decisions or military conflicts, some out of revenge or to discredit a brand/individual and some just to prove a website is hackable.

How can you protect yourself?

We have an article here on Techzim published several months ago, which goes into how you can best protect yourself. The advice there still applies. But basically our advice is that if you don’t have the skills to keep your web properties secure (and if you can’t be bothered learning how), then please consult people who have a proven track record in securing internet properties.

If you still have any questions about website hacking and defacement, please enter them in the comments section below, and we (& other readers) will do our best to answer you.

List of some defaced websites since 2001
Please note that we’ve listed just 76 defaced websites out of over 1,000 websites archived on Zone-H.org. Also keep in mind that it’s just the .co.zw domains listed – a lot of Zimbabwean companies have .com domains because of the difficulties of registering a local domain. Lastly, note that Zone-H itself relies on submissions by people (mostly the hackers themselves we’re guessing), which means hacks not submitted to the archive are not listed.

Website address Company Defaced Date
www.classifieds.co.zw Zimbabwe Classifieds

29-Apr-2001

www.cbz.co.zw CBZ Holdings

29-Apr-2001

www.netone.co.zw NetOne

2-Jul-2001

www.rbz.co.zw Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

13-Aug-2002

www.nokia.co.zw Nokia Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2002

www.metbank.co.zw Metropolitan Bank

2-Nov-2002

www.dairibord.co.zw Dairiboard Zimbabwe

2-Nov-2002

www.sage.co.zw Sage Pastel Zimbabwe

2-May-2005

www.iobz.co.zw IOBZ

2-May-2005

www.mukonitronics.co.zw Mukonitronics

2-May-2005

www.pastel.co.zw Pastel Zimbabwe

2-May-2005

www.doves.co.zw Doves

2-May-2005

www.fabs.co.zw FABS

2-May-2005

www.csc.co.zw CSC

2-May-2005

www.venekera.co.zw Venekera

2-May-2005

www.zabg.co.zw ZABG Bank

2-May-2005

www.chips.co.zw Chips Computing

2-May-2005

www.chronicle.co.zw Chronicle

2-May-2005

www.clan.co.zw Clan

2-May-2005

www.toyota.co.zw Toyota Zimbabwe

2-May-2005

www.afrosoft.co.zw Afrosoft

2-May-2005

www.zol.co.zw Zimbabwe Online

24-Jul-2005

www.renaissance.co.zw Renaissance

10-Feb-2006

www.mdczimbabwe.co.zw MDC

19-Apr-2006

www.kingdom.co.zw Afrasia Kingdom Bank

16-Sep-2006

www.hifa.co.zw Harare International Festival of Arts

6-Feb-2007

www.truworths.co.zw Truworths

5-Jul-2007

www.dawnproperties.co.zw Dawn Properties

28-Jul-2007

www.posb.co.zw POSB

28-Jul-2007

www.jaggers.co.zw Jaggers

28-Jul-2007

www.idbz.co.zw Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe

28-Jul-2007

www.nmbz.co.zw NMB Bank Limited

18-Aug-2007

www.genesisbank.co.zw Genesis Bank

30-Nov-2007

www.highlandersfc.co.zw Highlanders FC

28-Apr-2008

www.agrifoods.co.zw AgriFoods

27-May-2008

www.telco.co.zw Telecontract

27-May-2008

www.celsys.co.zw Celsys

9-Sep-2008

www.nationalgallery.co.zw National Gallery of Zimbabwe

9-Sep-2008

www.mars.co.zw MARS Zimbabwe

3-Oct-2008

www.kia.co.zw KIA Motors

3-Oct-2008

www.supreme.zabg.co.zw ZABG Bank

24-Sep-2009

www.sage.co.zw Sage Pastel Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2009

www.europcar.co.zw Europcar Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2009

www.rooneys.co.zw Rooney’s

24-Sep-2009

www.techzim.co.zw Techzim

13-May-2010

www.kia.co.zw KIA Motors

14-Jun-2010

www.microman.co.zw Microman

14-Jun-2010

www.stuttafords.co.zw Stuttafords

14-Jun-2010

www.zimrights.co.zw Zimrights

15-Jul-2010

www.eatout.co.zw EatOut Zimbabwe

6-Oct-2010

iran.iranembassy.co.zw Iran Embassy

4-Jan-2011

www.zse.co.zw Zimbabwe Stock Exchange

13-Mar-2011

www.belina.co.zw Belina Payroll

12-Apr-2011

www.nicozdiamond.co.zw Nicoz Diamond Insurance

16-Apr-2011

www.cloverleaf.co.zw Clover Leaf Motors Group

11-Sep-2011

www.rminsurance.co.zw RM Insurance Company

13-Sep-2011

www.brontehotel.co.zw   Bronte Hotel

27-Jan-2012

www.safeguard.co.zw  Safeguard

27-Jan-2012

www.eset.co.zw ESET Zimbabwe

15-Mar-2012

www.zinwa.co.zw Zimbabwe National Water Authority

22-Mar-2012

www.proplastics.co.zw Pro Plastics

30-Mar-2012

www.kingstons.co.zw Kingstons Holdings

30-Mar-2012

www.dailynews.co.zw Daily News

1-Jul-2012

www.mazda.co.zw Willovale Mazda motor Industries

9-Jul-2012

web.telecel.co.zw Telecel Zimbabwe

19-Nov-2012

www.zinara.co.zw Zinara

22-Nov-2012

www.greenfuel.co.zw Green Fuel

6-Dec-2012

www.nicozdiamond.co.zw Nicoz Diamond Insurance

10-Dec-2012

www.cabs.co.zw CABS

16-Dec-2012

www.delta.co.zw Delta Corporation

23-Dec-2012

www.uz-ucsf.co.zw University of Zimbabwe-University of California San Francisco (UZ-UCSF) Collaborative Research Programme

23-Dec-2012

www.herzimbabwe.co.zw Her Zimbabwe

24-Dec-2012

www.zol.co.zw Zimbabwe Online

28-Dec-2012

www.zimnatlife.co.zw Zimnat Life Assurance

31-Dec-2012

www.bennysburgers.co.zw Benny’s Burgers

3-Jan-2013

www.firstel.co.zw FirstTel

4-Jan-2013


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