CASCFEN site temporarily shuts down; hackers blamed

Attacks from computer hackers have forced the Central Asian and Southern Caucasian Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN) to shut down its Web site only days after the group received an international award for its work in promoting free speech.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) announced on May 3 that it would award CASCFEN with its Free Media Pioneer Award. A few days later, only a temporary “out of service” message posted by CASCFEN Chairman Azer Hasret was available at the site’s address.

Hasret told IJNet that the network is working on installing a stronger system more resilient to future attacks. The source of the attacks remains unknown.

“I’m silent for now because [we] don’t know who is behind this attack,” Hasret said. “For now I don’t want to name the person behind this attack. But [we] hope we’ll identify him and let others know who is playing these dirty games.”

The attacks also brought down the sites of CASCFEN members Ozod Ovoz of Uzbekistan and the National Association of Independent Mass Media of Tajikistan (NANSMIT). Messages from hackers were still visible on the NAMSIT site as of May 12.

One message read, “HI. I hack your site from IRAN. Your site has a weak security.”

Source: Donna`s Security Flash

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