The Washington Post

Palestinians say hackers have taken down phone and Internet services

Hackers have attacked Palestinians servers, cutting off phone and Internet service across the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian communications minister told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. He alleged that a foreign government was behind the attack.

A member of the delegation to UNESCO sends a text message with the results of the vote to give the Palestinians full membership. Many Palestinians do not have phone access today. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

The incident came a day after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted to admit Palestine as a full member of the group, a move that angered Israel.

Abu Daqqa said the sites were attacked in an “organized” manner, using mirror servers.

As early as 2006, hacking site Darknet reported that Israeli hackers had joined the fight against Palestine. Calling themselves IDF, the hackers disrupted dozens of Palestinian sites, erasing the site content and replacing it with their own photos with the caption: “You touch Israel, We touch you.”

In July of this year, however, hacker news organization the Hacker News reported that Palestinian hackers were at work, too. The hackers had disrupted a number of Web sites and replaced them with an image bearing the words “Freedom for Palestine.”

Hackers have also shut down the Internet in the Palestinian territories before. In 2002, Wired reported that the Israeli army took over the offices of the leading Palestinian Internet service provider, Palnet, and shut down its operations. Services went back up after 24 hours.

After then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shut down the Internet and cellphones to quell unrest early this year, he was required, along with two of his aides, to pay $90 million in fines for damaging the country’s economy.



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