Hackers bring down Al Jazeera website

The al-Jazeera website has suffered a barrage of attacks from hackers, who hijacked the Arabic news broadcaster's domain name and redirected users to what appears to be an American patriot's website.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  March 30, 2003

The al-Jazeera website has suffered a barrage of attacks from hackers, who hijacked the Arabic news broadcaster's domain name and redirected users to what appears to be an American patriot's website.

Users trying to log onto the al-Jazeera website in the US found a message that read "Hacked by Patriot, Freedom Cyber Force Militia" beneath a logo of the US flag.

Attacks on Al Jazeera’s site started last week after the broadcaster published images of dead and captured US soldiers on the site, as well as the network's broadcasts of the Iraqi interviews with captured US servicemen and women. The initial attacks flooded the site with a barrage of junk messages, crippling the site and forcing it to close for three days.

The attacks continued all week, one enterprising hacker even used a fake Al-Jazeera letterhead to fool an Internet company into letting him redirect visitors away from Al-Jazeera to other locations such as porn sites and a page that displayed an American flag with the message: "God bless our troops!"

Writing in The Guardian Newspaper last week Faisal Bodi, a senior editor for aljazeera.net, appeared to blame the US government for the attacks. "One measure of the importance of those American PoW pictures and the images of the dead British soldiers is surely the sustained 'shock-and-awe' hacking campaign directed at aljazeera.net since the start of the war," he wrote in the British paper’s letters page. "The Al-Jazeera Web site has been down for three days and few here doubt that the provenance of the attack is the Pentagon."

At the time of writing the Al Jazeera English site was still unavailable.

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