Self-confessed hacker strikes again, targets labour dept

The notorious hacker who goes by the Twitter name Paladin has struck again - this time targeting the websites of the Department of Labour and SA Express.

Paladin, whose Twitter handle is @VirusSec, contacted a News24 journalist on Friday evening asking him to take a look at the Department of Labour's website.

When the journalist checked the website, it was business as usual.

However, just minutes later, the Twitter user asked the journalist to check again. The second time around, the website was completely inaccessible.

After another few minutes, the website was back to normal.

The self-confessed hacker told News24 that it was a 10.4-second attack and that the journalist was only informed so that the government would not be able to deny that the website had been attacked.

@VirusSec added that a full-scale attack would be launched soon on a government website of his choice.

On Saturday, the domain for SA Express, flyexpress.aero, also went down.

Both websites however were functional again on Sunday morning. The hacker indicated he was targeting Nigerian and Zimbabwean government websites on Sunday.

Government Communication and Information Systems spokesperson Phumla Williams told News24 that she could not comment on the matter because she did not have all the facts.

SA Express spokesperson Tlali Tlali could not be reached after multiple attempts on Sunday.

Previously, in a direct message to News24 on Twitter, @VirusSec said government sites were being targeted because "the current South African government is greedy, and it needs to change".

Paladin shut down the Cybersecurity Hub website earlier this month in a similar fashion, contacting News24 before the website was shut down.

The Twitter user has also taken responsibility for website attacks on the websites of the Presidency and the Department of Environmental Affairs.