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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


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 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 Also keep in mind that it’s just the 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 Zimbabwe Classifieds

29-Apr-2001 CBZ Holdings

29-Apr-2001 NetOne

2-Jul-2001 Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

13-Aug-2002 Nokia Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2002 Metropolitan Bank

2-Nov-2002 Dairiboard Zimbabwe

2-Nov-2002 Sage Pastel Zimbabwe

2-May-2005 IOBZ

2-May-2005 Mukonitronics

2-May-2005 Pastel Zimbabwe

2-May-2005 Doves

2-May-2005 FABS

2-May-2005 CSC

2-May-2005 Venekera

2-May-2005 ZABG Bank

2-May-2005 Chips Computing

2-May-2005 Chronicle

2-May-2005 Clan

2-May-2005 Toyota Zimbabwe

2-May-2005 Afrosoft

2-May-2005 Zimbabwe Online

24-Jul-2005 Renaissance

10-Feb-2006 MDC

19-Apr-2006 Afrasia Kingdom Bank

16-Sep-2006 Harare International Festival of Arts

6-Feb-2007 Truworths

5-Jul-2007 Dawn Properties

28-Jul-2007 POSB

28-Jul-2007 Jaggers

28-Jul-2007 Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe

28-Jul-2007 NMB Bank Limited

18-Aug-2007 Genesis Bank

30-Nov-2007 Highlanders FC

28-Apr-2008 AgriFoods

27-May-2008 Telecontract

27-May-2008 Celsys

9-Sep-2008 National Gallery of Zimbabwe

9-Sep-2008 MARS Zimbabwe

3-Oct-2008 KIA Motors

3-Oct-2008 ZABG Bank

24-Sep-2009 Sage Pastel Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2009 Europcar Zimbabwe

24-Sep-2009 Rooney’s

24-Sep-2009 Techzim

13-May-2010 KIA Motors

14-Jun-2010 Microman

14-Jun-2010 Stuttafords

14-Jun-2010 Zimrights

15-Jul-2010 EatOut Zimbabwe

6-Oct-2010 Iran Embassy

4-Jan-2011 Zimbabwe Stock Exchange

13-Mar-2011 Belina Payroll

12-Apr-2011 Nicoz Diamond Insurance

16-Apr-2011 Clover Leaf Motors Group

11-Sep-2011 RM Insurance Company

13-Sep-2011   Bronte Hotel

27-Jan-2012  Safeguard

27-Jan-2012 ESET Zimbabwe

15-Mar-2012 Zimbabwe National Water Authority

22-Mar-2012 Pro Plastics

30-Mar-2012 Kingstons Holdings

30-Mar-2012 Daily News

1-Jul-2012 Willovale Mazda motor Industries

9-Jul-2012 Telecel Zimbabwe

19-Nov-2012 Zinara

22-Nov-2012 Green Fuel

6-Dec-2012 Nicoz Diamond Insurance

10-Dec-2012 CABS

16-Dec-2012 Delta Corporation

23-Dec-2012 University of Zimbabwe-University of California San Francisco (UZ-UCSF) Collaborative Research Programme

23-Dec-2012 Her Zimbabwe

24-Dec-2012 Zimbabwe Online

28-Dec-2012 Zimnat Life Assurance

31-Dec-2012 Benny’s Burgers

3-Jan-2013 FirstTel


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