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Prime Minister’s site comes under attack

By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda

Uganda has once again suffered cyber-attack by gay activists. The group targeted various ministries and government agency websites.

Notably was the Ugandan Prime Minister’s website which was attacked by the hackers. In one of the screen grabs the prime minister apologises to all homosexuals living in Uganda and gives his support to a gay pride march.

Another message posted by the hackers on the prime minister’s website read, “Your violations of the rights of Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have disgusted us. All people have the right to live in dignity free from the repression of someone else’s political and religious beliefs”

In response to the threats and attempts of cyber‐attack against Uganda by the Internet Hackers Group (Anonymous), all Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments were advised to increase their precautionary measures.

Executive director of NITA-U James Saaka notes: “Our first priority is to apply all necessary resources to give all institutions, the tools, processes and support they require to strengthen the security of their IT systems in case of any incident. This is part of the aggressive measures being taken by government to protect the citizens of Uganda from attacks and undue interference. We are always working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the sources of the attacks and following the enactment of the Uganda Cyber laws, bring them to justice.”

Saaka also explains that a Directorate for Information Security has recently been established at NITA‐U. This Directorate is to implement the National Information Security Strategy.

NITA-U communication officer Charlotte Ampaire notes that this is not the first time this particular group have attacked government websites. Nevertheless, she is optimistic to overcome this problem: “We are vigilant and will continue to strengthen the security of our installations to protect them from attack”  

Uganda does not recognize homosexuals and they have faced physical attacks and social rejection. There is even a controversial anti-gay bill which was re-tabled in Ugandan parliament this year and it proposes to increase the penalties for homosexual acts from a jail term of 14 years to life imprisonment.

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