August 25, 11am: The GSE homepage is back in working order. Original post follows.
The Ghana Stock Exchange website appears to have been hacked this evening. A hijacker calling themselves “Darkn Rahl”, after a character from the fantasy series Sword of Truth, has replaced the homepage with a message criticising the country’s wealth gap and making references to what it calls hypocrisy over the recent death of President John Atta Mills.
Deeper pages on the Ghana Stock Exchange site were unaffected and could still be reached through search at time of writing.
The message goes on to threaten a “robin hood” attack that will be “GH’s worst cyber fraud ever know [sic]“. It then inserts a Youtube clip of the Ghanaian national anthem. A final message claims that the hacker is Ghanaian, 18 years old and a student Legon University.
This is, to my knowledge, the first incident of its kind originating in Ghana and targeted at as high-profile an institution as the stock exchange, though a European ‘grey hat’ hacker known as SEPO claims to have hacked the GSE in summer 2011. It will be interesting to see whether the current case is investigated and prosecuted, and if so how.
It bears emphasising that hijacking a page on a stock exchange website is not the same as hacking a stock exchange itself – as the character Bane does, for reasons very like the ones in the ‘Darkn Rahl’ message, in a certain superhero blockbuster still running at Accra’s Silverbird Cinema.
The GSE website is provided by Accra-based con-imedia.