The Center for Investigative Journalism is concerned about the fact that the www.anticoruptie.md Portal was hit in August by several cyber-attacks. These endangered the activity of the site, especially on August 11 and 12, when the portal was completely blocked several times these days.
The company that provides hosting (web hosting) for the portals of the Center for Investigative Journalism has confirmed that external attacks have been committed on Anticoruptie.md and that the attackers' strategy changes periodically as they are found and annihilated.
"In recent days, there have been several attacks on the Anticoruptie.md website. Currently, they are filtered, but periodically the attack is modified and is applied by different methods. We applied the necessary filters, but it is necessary to adjust them periodically ", reads the message received from the hosting company Inovare-Prim SRL.
"We do not know yet who would be behind these attacks, but we believe that such actions are directly related to our professional activity and are attempts to intimidate us, to silence, as Anticoruptie.md is a portal focused on anti-corruption and journalistic investigations on topics of corruption, fraud, issues of integrity of officials, mismanagement of public money and organized crime. The portal has an interactive map, on which citizens can report on corruption cases. The portal team is made up of investigative journalists who investigate, in particular, sensitive topics ", said Cornelia Cozonac, president of the Center for Investigative Journalism.
She says that this case is not the only one. Similar attacks were recorded during the election campaign for the February 2019 parliamentary elections, when work on the site was periodically blocked, and on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.
"The Anticorruption Team has been monitoring for several years the people who aspire to public positions, the candidates for the positions of deputy, minister, mayor, councilor, head of agencies and published their profiles, with all the details, based on documents. Probably, certain groups do not like it ", said Cornelia Cozonac.
Another issue mentioned by the president of the Center for Investigative Journalism is about abusive reports on social networks and the blocking of the accounts of the investigative reporters of the Anticoruptie.md portal: "We are abusively reported by a large number of trolls, accounts, people for distributing journalistic materials of Anticoruptie.md on the social network Facebook. As a result, Facebook periodically blocks us for a long time, and some of our colleagues' pages have been permanently deleted. I believe this is also part of a strategy to attack the independent media. I wrote explanations to the Facebook administration, but these were not taken into account. In mass reporting, network algorithms do not take into account the nature and purpose of reporting. As a result, the media and its ability to inform citizens are affected. "
The Center for Investigative Journalism will notify the law enforcement agencies in connection with the cyber-attacks on the Anticoruptie.md website and will request an investigation into the case.
Anticoruptie.md is the first online platform in the Republic of Moldova for reporting cases of corruption and related crimes and investigating the most relevant cases by investigative journalists.
The portal was launched in December 2012 as part of an anti-corruption campaign. The Anticorruption.md portal is the second media institution to receive the Ethics and Professional Deontology Award provided by the Press Council, and in 2016 and 2019 it received the award for Investigative Journalism at the "Ten Journalists of the Year" Gala.