Today’s Zaman’s website has functioned sporadically for the past week due to severe cyber attacks it is facing, causing temporary access problems for visitors, especially those outside Turkey.
Daily Taraf’s website has remained down since Sunday.
The attacks began as early as last week but gained momentum on March 30 when Turkey headed to the ballot box for the municipal elections. Readers have been at times unable to access the websites of the dailies Zaman, Today’s Zaman and Taraf, as well as the Cihan news agency since that date.
The Today’s Zaman website has previously faced such cyber attacks but none of them were as severe as the latest ones that started with the local elections weekend.
In the current wave of attacks, the Today’s Zaman website is being targeted by hundreds of thousands of computers in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which hackers bombard the website with requests, causing it to slow down or crash.
Also on March 30, the Taraf daily’s website was attacked by unidentified cyber groups. Taraf challenged the attack with a statement on its main webpage, noting that its website had been under an organized attack for the past week:
“To those creeps who are afraid of journalism, freedoms and Taraf,” the statement said, “those who are afraid of democratic elections, journalism and free media have staged a new attack and have hacked our website. They think that they are successful but they are the losers. It has been revealed how afraid they are afraid of Taraf and free journalism. They have shown us how powerful we are. It is no use even if you send [highly trained] soldiers or assassins. You cannot silence Taraf. We will continue with our website edition in the shortest time possible.”