Britain’s Black History Month website was taken down by a Doncaster hacker in what has been dubbed a ‘cyber-racist’ attack.
The website fell victim to two cyber-attacks in just 24 hours in a 'massive orchestrated campaign by hackers' – with one of the attacks traced to an IP address in Doncaster.
Editor Patrick Vernon said it was a deliberate attempt to ensure the content of the site – which celebrates black history, arts and culture across the UK - was not 'available or accessible'.
Tthe site was first attacked on Monday morning at 8.45am and within minutes of going back online yesterday, it was brought down again.
He said the initial attack was tracked to an IP address in Doncaster and has launched an internal investigation before taking the matter to police.
He said the Windrush scandal had 'raised awareness of black history' which had aided the popularity of the website.
He added: 'The website has been going number of years but this is the first time we've been attacked in this way.
'We are the most popular website in the UK on Black History Month and from October to December we get a couple of million hits a day.
'All our websites were taken down - it targeted our company and what we try to do.
'We don't know who did it but I believe it was deliberate attack on the first day of Black History Month which was trending at that time - so tens of thousands of people were going to our website because we had a listing of events across the UK.
'We were cynically taken out to deny people access to information, in what was a direct attack on our freedom of expression.
'This is part of a wider context - parts of society want to create divide and rule and disseminate hate. We are the victim of racism and discrimination.
'There is a strong, nasty element online - there tends to be a vitriol targeted at black people or anyone supporting the Windrush scandal.'
Mr Vernon tweeted last night: 'Apologies everyone our site @BhmUK is now down for 2nd day now running as result of a massive orchestrated campaign by hackers to ensure that our content is not available.
'This is cyber-racism is the new front line for fight equality and justice and attacking #BHM2018.'