Cyber attacks reported during Colombia elections

Posted on Mar 9 2014 - 4:43pm by Rico

A series of cyber attacks targeted political parties and one national media outlet during Colombia’s congressional elections Sunday.

The prominent La Silla Vacia political blog was the first victim of the day, seeing its website crash at around 10AM. Initially, the media outlet thought its servers had simply been overwhelmed by an influx of traffic. Later, it was determined that an attack had brought down the site, which went back online just after noon.

Then, in short succession, the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) and Democratic Pole (Polo Democratico) parties each reported attacks on their main websites.

The parties, which fall on opposite ends of the Colombian political spectrum, took to twitter to denounce the attacks, claiming to have reported the incidents to the relevant authorities.

For the Democratic Pole, the website of party leader Senator Jorge Robledo was also reportedly part of the attacks, as was the website of former President and Senate candidate Alvaro Uribe, who leads the Democratic Center.

Uribe joined Democratic Pole President and presidential candidate Clara Lopez in criticizing the lack of state protection, reportedly submitting denunciations to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the National Registrar’s Office, the domestic body in charge of administering elections.

It is still unclear whether there were any connections between the attacks, but for many, cyber intrusions will be a welcome reprieve from coercion and physical violence.

So far, elections have gone by with few reported incidents of violence, though observers have reported over 150 cases of fraud thus far.


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