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Site hacked ahead of anti-racism talk

 | June 13, 2012

Projek Dialog, a website devoted to promoting honest dialogue and harmony between Malaysians, was taken offline for a whole day.

PETALING JAYA: Hackers attacked a new website called “Projek Dialog” – which advocates honest dialogue and racial and religious harmony – ahead of a forum this Sunday on race.

Editor of the website, Jason Nicholas, told FMT that the site was taken offline for a whole day when the attack began around midnight yesterday.

“Hackers had gained access to our server and installed a malicious code that took up resources and reporting site activity to other servers… causing it to shut down,” he said.

However, he said the Projek Dialog site was not defaced and it has been restored today.

Nicholas said his team was still trying to investigate the full extent of the hacking activity and could not comment on who or where it came from.

Asked if it may have been spurred by the aggressive promotion of the forum titled, “On Being Other in Malaysia”, jointly organised with progressive Muslim think-tank Islamic Renaissance Front, Nicholas said he cannot be sure.

“To be fair, any conclusion I make now is speculative; it could be anything from a random worldwide mass attack to just a server loophole,” said Nicholas.

“We highlight provocative and sensitive subjects, including Irshad Manji coming over here. We end up taking sides that people might not be happy with… that might be a reason.

“We take a liberal and progressive stand on these topics. We know that certain groups are not happy with what we are doing.”

(Canadian writer, Irshad Manji’s book “Allah, Liberty and Love” was banned because, according to the Home Ministry, it was“prejudicial to morality and public order”.)

Nicholas said Projek Dialog is a “loose coalition” trying to solidify into a proper organisation.

He described it as a new community project that is trying to “promote harmony between all groups, religious and ethnicity and all kinds of backgrounds”.

“Because we see the disparity between different groups, it’s kind of becoming worse,” he said.

Aside from social media campaigns and conferences, Nicholas said Projek Dialog is an attempt to “ask the questions and to address subjects considered taboo”.

“We want to empower people to not be afraid, learn about each other’s cultures. Being interested rather than being afraid,” he added.


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