Hackers say they have shut down AFCON site

By Gerald Imray, AP

LIBREVILLE, Gabon — A group of hackers claiming to be based in Russia said Saturday they had shut down the website of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in a protest at organizers holding it in the “dictatorship” of Gabon, where President Ali Bongo Ondimba retained power in disputed and violent elections last year.

A person sent an email to The Associated Press claiming the group New World Hackers had “taken down” the Confederation of African Football’s official website. The site CAFonline.com was not working for at least five hours on Saturday afternoon and evening.

“We did this in protest against Gabon,” the person claiming to be one of the hackers, and who called themselves Kapustkiy, wrote in an email. “They are running the Africa Cup in a country where the dictator Ali Bongo is killing innocent people!”

African soccer officials couldn’t immediately confirm if their website had been hacked. CAF spokesman Junior Binyam said he couldn’t say if there were unconnected technical problems with the website or if it had been intentionally targeted.