Reports circulating on social media suggest that decentralised international “hacktivist” group Anonymous has hacked Nigeria’s foremost payTV, DStv.
The alleged hack has reportedly opened up all DStv channels for free viewing irrespective of the bouquet/package a user has subscribed to. This is reportedly the latest in a string of cyber attacks by Anonymous to express its support for Nigerians in their protests against police brutality and violence through the #EndSARS campaign.
Recall that Anonymous hacked the official Twitter handle of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) some days back.
The hackers had also taken over other government databases in the past few days to expose private information and data to the public.
Did Anon Really Hack DStv?
Many social media users on twitter claim that Anonymous has hacked Multichoice Group’s DStv and GOtv. But these are only claims as there is yet to be any proof to show that these claims are valid. And like we saw them do after the NBC hack, Anonymous haven’t claimed responsibility for the latest hack.
A DSTV subscriber, Peter, told Technext that his subscription expired last week. But upon hearing of the hack he turned on his decoder to find all stations showing.
“If this is the work of Anonymous then I’m grateful because I have too many bills to pay and taking this one off my mind is a huge relief. I only hope it stays hacked for a long time,” he says.
A twitter user, EmaJenci claims that DStv/GOtv have been hacked and all channels can now be viewed with or without an active subscription.
Another user olyzzir confirms EmaJenci’s claim that all DStv stations are indeed open to viewers.
A certain abbey on twitter said, “I saw this and quickly went on to switch my expired DStv, the thing open ooo… Anonymous una thank you oooo.” From indications, it appears that Anonymous allegedly hacked DStv although in the absence of no evidence.
However, Ayodeji on Twitter states that DStv was not hacked. According to him, the payTV sometimes experiences such technical issues where all channels become open for a short time. Some people corroborated his statement by saying DStv/GOtv are probably carrying out a system upgrade.
Some people also chalked down the free TV service to a systems upgrade by the PayTV company. According to a message circulating on payment platform, Quickteller, DSTV and GoTV is currently undergoing a systems upgrade which will cause a payment downtime.
This, however, doesn’t explain why people who are yet to renew their subscriptions are getting access because if anything, people who have renewed shouldn’t expect access until Monday.
Some Nigerians have also opined that DStv could be opening up all its channels deliberately as part of a supposed ploy with the government to keep #EndSARS protesters at home.
Oviking on twitter alleged that this could be a gimmick to keep Nigerian youths off the streets and stop the #EndSARS protests. “We have told govt to intervene for pay as you go on dstv, they didn’t listen,” he remarked.
According to him, whatever is going on with DStv at this moment should not detract from their refusal to offer Nigerians a pay-per-view model.
We reached out to DStv Nigeria but are yet to get any official response. But a source within the company told Nairametrics that Multichoice system hasn’t been hacked and the availability of all stations is only a result of the aforementioned systems upgrade.
According to the source, the company decided to open all of its channels during the upgrade to save its subscribers from the difficulties of accessing some channels on their bouquets.
“Instead of allowing subscribers to go through such challenge, we decided to open all channels till the upgrade is over,” the source said.
While this doesn’t explain reports that subscribers who haven’t renewed their bouquets are getting access, we wait for an official announcement from the company.
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