This past week has been a bit of a nightmare for South African industries as various banks and now internet service providers (ISPs) have been the target of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Yesterday afternoon local ISPs Afrihost, Axxess and Webafrica all suffered extensive problems as the result of these attacks. Customers found themselves unable to reach international sites while some local presence sites and services remained up.
We personally experienced this problem as Webafrica customers, with international sites either failing to load entirely, or taking several refreshes over the course of 30 or so minutes to finally load properly.
Thankfully there is a way for customers of these ISPs, to continue using the internet as normal. Using an VPN through a South African server has fixed this issue for us almost entirely.
The specific VPN we’re using is NordVPN, but any service with a South African server should work. NordVPN is a paid service but many very VPN options exist – such as Opera’s Android browser and VPNhub by Pornhub. Don’t worry, that last link is completely safe for work.
We do, however, advise caution when using NordVPN as the company suffered a data breach in 2018 that was revealed recently. We had a subscription to the service from before the breach, so we used what we had.
Webafrica, on its Network Status page, notes that these issues were resolved as of 22:20 last night. Unfortunately another DDoS attack has taken place this morning which is once again affecting its network.
If you’re a customer of it or any other ISP in South Africa, a VPN may be your only way to work, study or entertain yourself on the internet until these issues are completely resolved.[h/t – Eugene Eksteen]