[ISN] Palestinian Sites Knocked Offline By Mideast Conflict

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Apr 19 2002 - 01:53:46 PDT

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    By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
    18 Apr 2002, 12:04 PM CST
    Contrary to recent reports, Israeli Web sites have not born the brunt
    of the escalating violence in the Middle East, security experts said
    Indeed, the pace of attacks on Israeli Web sites has slowed sharply
    this year, even as numerous Palestinian government sites have been
    unreachable due to the conflict in the region.
    According to statistics maintained by defacement archive Alldas.org,
    electronic vandals hit less than half as many Israeli Web sites in the
    first quarter of 2002 than were altered in the last three months of
    Eighteen Web sites with addresses ending in "dot-il" were attacked in
    the first quarter of 2002, while 38 Israeli sites were defaced at the
    close of 2001, according to Alldas records.
    In a press release Monday, London-based Mi2G said Israeli sites have
    been subjected to "asymmetric warfare" and that the country has been
    "the biggest victim of Web defacement" in the Mideast, suffering 548
    defacement since July 1999.
    Yet while all of Israel's primary government sites were readily
    accessible today, more than two dozen Palestinian government sites
    have been unreachable for days.
    Attempts to access the official site of the Palestinian National
    Authority, located at http://www.pna.net and hosted by Jerusalem-based
    Palnet Communications, were redirected today to a server operated by
    ElectronicIntifada.net in Chicago.
    ElectronicIntifada spokesman Ali Abunimah said Webmasters of many
    Palestine-based sites have been disrupted by the Israeli invasion of
    Palestinian towns and have configured their domain name servers (DNS)  
    temporarily to redirect visitors to the U.S.-based
    ElectronicIntifada.net site.
    Meanwhile, the Israel Government Gateway, located at
    http://www.info.gov.il , was accessible today, as was the Web home of
    Israel's parliament, the Knesset, at http://www.knesset.gov.il , and
    the official site of Israel's Prime Minister at http://www.pmo.gov.il
    Attempts to reach 29 Web sites with Internet addresses ending in
    Gov.ps, were unsuccessful today. The unreachable sites included the
    Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs at http://www.mopa.gov.ps , and the
    Government Computer Center at http://www.gcc.gov.ps .
    A message at the ElectronicIntifada site today said operators of
    Palestinian sites "are dealing with shoot-to-kill curfews, no
    electricity thanks to Israeli military cut-offs of the power, and
    other severe obstacles."
    Alldas has recorded no defacements of sites in Palestine's "dot-ps"  
    top-level domain.
    Web-site defacements are a poor measure of the impact of the Middle
    East conflict on Internet sites in the region, according to Brian
    Martin, a security engineer with Virginia-based CACI International.
    "The only value in tallying and publicizing such statistics based on
    questionable research is in creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt,"  
    said Martin, one of the operators of the Attrition.org security
    information site.
    A spokesman for Mi2G declined to comment on the slowdown in
    anti-Israel defacements suggested by the Alldas data. He said Web
    defacements provide "the only publicly visible, overt attacks over
    Abunimah said he believes defacements of Israeli sites are perpetrated
    by "a very small number" of people and such attacks are not condoned
    by ElectronicIntifada.
    "These attacks are not something that is celebrated, advocated or even
    widely discussed by people who are concerned about the Palestinian
    cause. We are much more concerned with getting information out than in
    trying to block Israeli sites," he said.
    Alldas's list of defaced .IL sites is at
    Mi2G is on the Web at http://www.mi2g.com
    The ElectronicIntifada is at http://www.ElectronicIntifada.net
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
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