Posted September 28, 2018 12:02:33New Zealand’s leading women’s groups are struggling to keep their websites running after a cyber attack that affected hundreds of women.
In the days after the cyber attack, more than 1,000 women’s online forums in the country’s capital Wellington were forced offline.
They are the second most popular forum in New Zealand, with more than 100,000 members, but many were offline for hours, including one forum called “The Women’s Forums” where women could post, post, share and chat.
“It was a real shock,” said Laura, who joined the site on May 10.
Laura said the website had been open for a few days, but it was shut down when she joined it a few hours later.
The forum was closed after she registered.
Laura was shocked to discover that her posts had been removed, she said.
“I was so shocked and upset because I had posted so many things about the forum, so I was really upset that they took it away.”
Laura has since filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The website’s administrators did not return requests for comment.
New Zealand First, which has more than 4 million members, has called for the site to be shut down.
“These types of attacks are very common and it’s unfortunate that the authorities have not responded,” the party’s New Zealand spokesman, Chris Smith, said.
The Labour Party said it was taking action to address the problem, including a review of the forum’s operating policy.
“Labour is committed to working with the Government to make sure the internet remains a safe and secure place for everyone, including those who use it to engage in a range of activities including campaigning,” it said.
New Zealand Women’s Forum, run by the New Zealand Council of Women’s Groups, said it had received an email from the ministry requesting its website be restored.
The council’s chief executive, Jane O’Leary, said the forum was still online and that it was working to restore it.
“We have received an update from the Ministry that the website will be back up and running shortly,” she said, adding that the site would continue to be monitored by the ministry.
New Zealander Rebecca Bostock, who has campaigned for gender equality in the community, said she was “absolutely devastated” by the incident.
“The way it was handled, it was completely disrespectful, it’s really a big issue, really,” she told the ABC.
Ms Bostocker said it could have been handled better by the authorities, which had not notified the council.
“What we need now is to have a discussion with the ministry, which is really our only hope of changing the culture of how women’s issues are handled in this country,” she added.