Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cyber-attacks against 9-N




Starting sometime in the afternoon, several websites related to the Catalan Government, including its main website, have not been working properly. When you try to access them, they just won’t load or only their starting page loads. The same thing has been going on, even from earlier on, with the Catalan National Assembly’s (ANC) site and that of the Catalan Towns for Independence (AMI)—although this last one seems to be operational now. On the other hand, the main portal of Participa2014.cat, containing the information related with the 9N referendum, has been operational the whole time.

The difficulties that these websites are experiencing coincide with ANC, Òmnium, and AMI denouncing that they were suspecting foul play by telephone companies against members and volunteers of the It is time campaign. “We are receiving tens of thousands of calls in order to block all communications,” they said. According to these two organizations, “right before 9-N, we are being hit again by the same kind of attack we were targeted with during the days before the Via Catalana in 2014, aimed solely at impeding smooth operation.”

ANC and Òmnium also admitted they do not know who is behind this “new mass attack,” but they were sure that, due to “its complexity, one would need to have expert knowledge and technical resources out of most people’s reach.” According to these organizations, attempts at destabilizing included “sending fake email messages posing as real ones.” Because of all this, they reported it to the Catalan police.

The police investigating

Three ANC coordinators from Pla de l'Estany woke up today with a nasty surprise. From around 9AM, their cell phones would not stop receiving calls from landlines and other cell phones, from unknown callers, which rendered them useless. One of the people affected by this, ANC’s coordinator in Fontcoberta, Carme Ferrando, said that some of the numbers correspond to other members in the ANC, or even Òmnium Cultural’s offices. When they checked with the owners, they confirmed they had not placed any call themselves. Additionally, when they tried to answer the phone, nobody would answer. The three coordinators reported this to the police.

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