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Pro-Hamas hackers rerouted Ynet English and Bank Discount's surfers to a hostile Web page Friday that included messages against Israel and the US, along with a propaganda song in Arabic.
The hackers took over an Israeli domain registration server called DomainTheNet for a couple of hours and managed to divert surfers to an alternative server in Japan where the hostile Web page was planted.
The move was the latest in a widening Hamas psychological war against Israel.
Last week it was reported that Hamas's activists sent radio messages in Hebrew to IDF soldiers, threatening them that an invasion of Gaza would end with bloodshed. On Thursday Hamas sent text messages to Israeli cell phones saying that there was nowhere to take cover because Hamas's rockets would reach all Israeli cities.
The hackers, who call themselves Team Evil and are based in Morocco, planted messages on the hostile Web page comparing the Israeli actions in Gaza and the American operation in Iraq to the Holocaust.
The message, in white letters against a black background, read: "The bitter truth [of] history repeats itself... and the criminals will be rotting in hell and can't escape the punishment of God."
The page included pictures of dead Palestinians in Gaza, Iraqi prisoners being abused by an American prison guard, and a picture of a Natorei Karta member holding a sign that calls for the end of Zionism.
At the bottom of the page, the hackers described Israel as a "malignant tumor," saying its "demise" would bring peace to all people.
According to Ynet, its English Web site was not hacked but rather the server that hosts their site, as well as those of many other Israeli sites.
Senior source at Yediot Aharonot Group, under whose umbrella Ynet operates, said the company would consider taking legal action against DomainTheNet.
"This is an unbelievable scandal," the source said. "It's untenable that such a significant company in the Israeli Internet market can be breached without [it] detecting and fixing [the problem] within seconds."
Ynet's editor-in-chief, Yon Feder, confirmed the details and said that the hackers managed to intercept Ynetnews' address that operates via DomainTheNet.
"We are examining our next steps with the company and checking options to prevent recurrence of such an incident," Feder said.
Yoav Keren, CEO of DomainTheNet Technologies, told Ynet in response that the hackers were able to track passwords used by the on-line customer service system and to access the domain management system, posing as system administrators authorized to change Internet protocol addresses.
Keren added that DomainTheNet's staff spotted the security breach, blocked it and thwarted further attempts by Team Evil to make any further changes.
According to Ynet, this same Moroccan group had previously hacked other Israeli sites, including those of Cellcom, Shilav and Blue Square.