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Uganda Tightens Online Security Following Anonymous Attack

/ Source: SecurityNewsDaily

In response to what appeared to be two attacks on its prime minister's website last week, Uganda says it will "apply all necessary resources" to tighten Internet security.

In response to proposed anti-gay legislation, the international hacker collective Anonymous took over Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi's website and posted a scathing message indicating its disgust over Uganda's sexual laws.

"ALL people have the right to live in dignity free from the repression of someone else's political and religious beliefs ...  Real Ugandan Pride is demonstrated in standing up to oppression despite fearing the abuse, torture and murder inflicted on LGBT at the hands of the corrupt government," the message said in part.

The statement also claimed that Anonymous had "full control of the President's" site. (Anonymous may have confused Mbabazi with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.)

Later, Agence France-Presse reported that a fake press release, in which the prime minister was said to have thrown his support behind a gay-pride parade and denounced pervasive homophobia, had also been posted to the site.

In response to these security breaches, Uganda's National Information Technology Authority declared a need for heightened Internet security, but it's not clear what that will look like.

"Our first priority is to apply all necessary resources ...  to strengthen the security of their IT systems in case of any incident," the agency said Friday (Aug. 17).

The legislation that provoked the Anonymous attack was first introduced in 2009. In its original form, the bill would have made homosexual acts punishable by death on the second offense, or on the first offense if it involved a minor or an individual with HIV.

The bill was reintroduced several months ago, with the death penalty replaced by life in prison.