The EU based web host ‘GreenNet’, which is hosting websites of human rights and other civil society organisations, was subjected to two cyber-attacks on 22 and 23 November 2019. The attacks were categorised as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Such attacks aim to overwhelm the servers with millions of requests until they run out of capacity and become unavailable. According to GreenNet the attacks lasted for exactly one hour, indicating that it was likely to have been a “DDoS for hire”. A forensic examination found strong circumstantial evidence that the cyber-attacks aimed to prevent the publication of a new report on Papuan political prisoners and detainees throughout 2018 and 2019 by ‘Papuans Behind Bars’. GreenNet called on private users and civil society organisations to disseminate the report widely.
‘GreenNet‘ is not the only online platform reporting cyber-attacks for the suppression of information on the human rights situation in West Papua. Various critical Papuan online news outlets have reportedly been subjected to hacker-attacks. The website of the online platform Suara Papua was repeatedly attacked by hackers in 2017 and could not be accessed for three months as a consequence of the attacks. Similar attacks were also reported by the Papuan online news outlet Jubi. According to a report published by SafeNet in 2019, Jubi documented up to 24 hacker-attacks on its website every year.