Is it dirty politics or just the work of a zealous party member, is the question behind the Semanario Universidad website “hack” on Wednesday, the edition publishing the latest elections poll.

The Semanario Universidad, the online and print publication by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), on Wednesday published its poll placing the PLN’s Araya in first place, followed by Frente Amplio’s Villalta in second, contrary to the latest polls by CID-Gallup and Unimer published in the last week.

But few saw the results of the poll or were able to read the article due to the site attack.

The UCR says that in the early hours of Wednesday morning their website was hacked by a mechanism called “denial of service attack”.

[quote]In computing, a denial-of-service (DoS) or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of efforts to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet. As clarification, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are sent by two or more persons, or bots. (See botnet) DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are sent by one person or system. [/quote]

The Seminario explained that ‘something’ generated more than 40 million requests per minute, saturating and resulting in a crash of the server hosting their website.

The Semanario went online with its latest poll in the early hours of Wednesday. By 8am it was impossible to access the site and it wasn’t until after 3pm in the afternoon when the site started to come back online again.

Mauricio Herrera, director of the Samanario said the university will file a complaint with the Ministerio de Seguridad, under the Ley de Delitos Informáticos (Computer Crimes Act), considering that the attack was an act of censorship.

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