Earlier this week, we talked about Harare Institute of Technology allegedly being hacked. We didn’t state it as a fact because there was no concrete proof to say that it had happened and even-though we had contacted HIT, we had not received any communication back. We still haven’t received any direct response from HIT. However, HIT has sent out a notice to students and the public through the Herald newspaper and other news publications.
Sometime yesterday, the website was back online briefly but currently it is still not accessible. Even-though the notice says that their infrastructure is intact, it is could be true in terms of their hardware but not necessarily true for their data. If the website is sometimes live and down other times, it shows that something is clearly missing with their data on the servers.
The notice also claims that social media blew the whole thing out of proportion and here I have to agree. Getting hacked is nothing new to websites especially Zimbabwean ones. However, I understand why people made it a big thing, the institution claims to be a Technology one so you’d think that they’d have better security on their website right.
The notice doesn’t confirm or deny whether the website and their systems were hacked. They are trying to just hide behind a good public relations statement that aims to maintain a good image of the university in front of the public. However, it would have been good to just admit that it did happen in the notice. Mr Mutema (HIT public relations office) did get quoted in an article in the Chronicle (a local publication) saying that it did happen:
“I can confirm that we were attacked yesterday at around 4:30AM. Social media is however blowing the whole matter out of proportion. The attackers hacked into our website. They had temporary control of the servers hosting our website and emails. We pulled our systems from the internet until we managed to sort out the matter today (yesterday).”