Home Mexican Weekly Suffers DDoS: Cartels May Be Responsible

Mexican Weekly Suffers DDoS: Cartels May Be Responsible

Ríodoce, one of the few publications left in Mexico that cover gang-related crime news, suffered a distributed denial of service attack on Friday. The publication’s host, DreamHost, told the weekly by email that the attack threatened other customers, so they were being dropped. Their URL, www.riodoce.com.mx, now defaults to a placeholder page.

The publication, located in the city of Culiacán, in Sinaloa state, is one of very few mainstream news publications that still cover cartel-fuelled drug violence and related news. Most publications have been terrorized into silence.

Most of the Mexican drug gangs use violence to intimidate their opponents, including those in the media and bloggers. They are not known for using much in the way of hired hackers. (On the contrary, members of the hacktivist group Anonymous threatened the Los Zetas cartel, though the threat did not seem to materialize.)

But Ríodoce’s founder, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, and the publication’s editorial director, Ismael Bojórquez, told the CPJ they believed the attack was in retaliation for their reporting. If this is the case, the attackers could be from the Sinaloa Cartel.

In 2009, someone threw a grenade through a window into the offices of Ríodoce.

Cardenas was awarded Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2011 International Press Freedom Award winner. In October, the publication received the 2011 Maria Moors Cabot Prize by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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