‘Cyber-racist’ hackers take down Black History Month website

‘Cyber-racist’ hackers take down Black History Month website twice in 24 hours

  • The Black History Month website fell victim to two cyber attacks in just 24 hours 
  • Editor Patrick Vernon said it was a ‘massive orchestrated campaign by hackers’
  • Says it was deliberate attempt ‘to ensure content’s not available or accessible’

The Black History Month website has fallen victim to two cyber-attacks in just 24 hours in a ‘massive orchestrated campaign by hackers’. 

The site, which celebrates ‘Black History, Arts and Culture throughout the UK’, was targeted in what has been dubbed a ‘cyber-racism’ attack.

Editor Patrick Vernon claims it was a deliberate attempt to ensure the content of the site was not ‘available or accessible’. 

The Black History Month website fell victim to two cyber-attacks in just 24 hours

Mr Vernon told MailOnline the site was first attacked on Monday morning at 8.45am and within minutes of going back online yesterday, it was brought down again. 

He said the initial attack was tracked to an IP address in Doncaster, South Yorkshire and has launched an internal investigation before taking the matter to police.

Editor Patrick Vernon (pictured) labelled the attack ‘cyber racism’

He told MailOnline the Windrush scandal had ‘raised awareness of black history’ which had aided the popularity of the website. 

He added: ‘The website has been going number of years but this is the first time we’ve been attacked in this way.

‘We are the most popular website in the UK on Black History Month and from October to December we get a couple of million hits a day.

‘All our websites were taken down – it targeted our company and what we try to do.

‘We don’t know who did it but I believe it was deliberate attack on the first day of Black History Month which was trending at that time – so tens of thousands of people were going to our website because we had a listing of events across the UK.

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‘We were cynically taken out to deny people access to information, in what was a direct attack on our freedom of expression.

‘This is part of a wider context – parts of society want to create divide and rule and disseminate hate. We are the victim of racism and discrimination.

‘There is a strong, nasty element online – there tends to be a vitriol targeted at black people or anyone supporting the Windrush scandal.’

Mr Vernon was made an OBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in 2012

Mr Vernon tweeted last night: ‘Apologies everyone our site @BhmUK is now down for 2nd day now running as result of a massive orchestrated campaign by hackers to ensure that our content is not available.

‘This is cyber-racism is the new front line for fight equality and justice and attacking #BHM2018.’

Luton Labour councillor Jacqui Burnett leant her support to the site, tweeting: ‘Whether today or tomorrow our outstanding history and achievements despite the hate that many have for us will be shared and our youth enlighten. 

‘We will left our heads up high and our chests full with proud of how our ancestors overcame.’

A message on the Black History Month twitter account read: ‘The site is up again after being hacked as part of a cyber attack, we hope that the issue is fixed but cannot be certain that the same thing will not happen tomorrow. The people doing this a really good hackers [sic].’

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