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Nicaragua’s La Prensa Newspaper under Cyber Attack

The web pages of the newspapers La Prensa and Hoy have not crashed totally but were working slowly and outdated.

The newspaper La Prensa suffered a cyber-attack by hackers on the weekend who tried for more than 24 hours to crash its website. The media was constantly down and did not register any updates.

A publication in the print edition of the newspaper explained that the attack “is known as DDoS and consists in generating thousands of robots or fake users who try to access the page attacked to block the entry of legitimate users and crash the site.”

Similarly, the newspaper said on its Twitter account that “more than 11,000 bots per second have tried to enter the website of La Prensa, in an attack to make it crash. The attack began at 6:00 pm of May 3. After more than 24 hours the site continues to operate, but slowly,” it says.

In addition to the La Prensa website, the attacks also are directed toward the web portal of the newspaper Hoy and La Prensa Club, all belonging to the same editorial group.

Attack on journalism

The director of the La Prensa Editorial Group, Jaime Chamorro Cardenal considers that this is “a direct attack on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.” He also recalled that for the past 35 weeks, the regime of Daniel Ortega has kept the supplies for the printing press of the newspaper withheld at the Customs Services. However, he assured that he will continue “fighting for freedom, a true democracy and a free press.”

Genaro Aguilar, IT Manager of these media services, said that “this type of attack is generated by paid hackers. They generate thousands of bots and direct them, in this case, at the La Prensa server.”

This is the second cyber attack that this newspaper faces. On April 23, 2018, at the height of the protests in Nicaragua, the La Prensa website as well as Confidencial were victims of similar attacks. On that occasion, the Confidencial website was disabled for more than seven hours.

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