The Jewish Chronicle website was defaced over the weekend by hackers calling themselves the “Palestinian Mujaheeds” who posted a rant against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Hackers posted an image of the Palestinian flag alongside diatribes against Israeli security policy in both English and Turkish. The hacked front page of the site (www.thejc.com) also attempted to play an MP3 file, net security firm Sophos reports: http://www.sophos.com/blogs/gc/g/2010/01/17/jewish-chronicle-website-hacked-palestinian-mujaheeds
The website was taken offline for repairs following the attack on Sunday but returned on Monday morning with a story on the attack, downplaying the significance of the admitted breach.
“Only thejc.com site was affected. None of our numerous sister servers handling our archives, e-paper, social and personal, debating and MSFL sport were infiltrated,” the paper reports: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/26147/palestinian-attack-jc-website
Editor Stephen Pollard said: “Only those without the confidence to win an argument resort to such tactics. And it was a pretty self-defeating attempt to silence us. Our site was down for a few hours, but as a result we will get more readers than ever before.” The Jewish Chronicle, which is based in London, is the world’s longest-running Jewish newspaper.
Defacers using the same Palestinian Mujaheeds nickname also hacked an Israeli weather website, http://www.israelweather.co.il, posting their name on parts of the site that would normally display weather satellite images.
Defacing websites with political messages has gone on for years. Previous examples include the hack of a US military website, which was defaced to display an image of a Palestinian protestor in front of an Israeli tank, in January 2009: http://www.sophos.com/blogs/gc/g/2009/01/09/antiisraeli-hackers-bring-cyberwar-washington-dc
More recently Twitter and Chinese search engine Baidu were the victims of a DNS hijacking by the “Iranian Cyber Army”. Surfers visiting the sites were forwarded to a third-party site protesting against Western cyberactivism following last year’s disputed Iranian elections.