The Malta Independent 13 July 2024, Saturday
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Blogger Manuel Delia claims government behind cyber attack; government denies

Monday, 21 May 2018, 18:30 Last update: about 7 years ago

The government has denied claims that it was behind a DDoS attack on blogger Manuel Delia’s website, with the former blasting Castille for failing to assure that it would take action and investigate.

Delia’s website has been under attack the past week. It has suffered from what is called a Distributed Denial of Service attack which, in simple terms means that it was inundated with millions of access requests coming from different servers.

Delia said his website’s engineers found that, at one point the site had been hit by around 70 million requests, prompting a crash. The website has gone offline several times over the past few days. The first crash happened on 16 May – exactly six months after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The blogger said he has filed a police report. He said the attack was probably carried out by “professional hackers working from a base of operation outside Malta, likely Ukraine.”

In comments to Times of Malta Delia he thought the attack was “funded, motivated and commissioned by the Maltese government.”

Reacting, the government said it “strongly denies any involvement on the alleged cyber-attack on Manuel Delia’s website as Mr Delia implied on the Times of Malta.”

“This allegation from Mr Manuel Delia is totally unfounded,” the statement said.

Delia later pointed out that in its 34-word statement, the government did not give reassurances that the police will investigate this “alleged” attack and appropriate action will be taken once the facts are determined.

“No polite inanities about commitment to the exercise of free speech and ensuring journalists can do their job without hindrance in an open democracy?”

“No superficial assurance that Malta is equipped to minimise computer misuse and cyber-crime and will provide the free media with resources to protect them from malicious attacks?

Of course not,” he wrote.

“There is no doubt who benefits most from forcing this website into silence, and that is the government.”

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