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Palestine : Hackers have taken down phone and Internet services

Palestine : Hackers have taken down phone and Internet services


The main phone network in the West Bank and Gaza has suffered a sustained attack by computer hackers, the Palestinian Authority (PA) says. Mashour Abou Daqqa, the Palestinian telecoms minister, said the disruptions, which began Tuesday morning, came from various sources around the world, but had no detailed information. He said hackers used IP servers in Germany, China, and Slovenia to launch the attack.

Hack may be linked to rising regional tensions over the Palestinian Authority's successful move to acquire membership in Unesco on Monday. It also comes against the backdrop of new cross-border clashes along the border between Israel and Gaza. One Israeli civilian and at least 10 Palestinian militants were killed in the worst violence on that front in months. The fighting followed the launch of rocket salvos against Israeli territory last week. Israel retaliated with airstrikes.

Daqqa suggested its neighbour could be responsible for the attacks."Israel could be involved as it announced yesterday that it was considering the kind of sanctions it would impose on us." . Over the years, pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian computer hackers have fought running skirmishes, carrying out attacks on the other side. Engineers are working to resolve the problem.

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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