http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/175980.html By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S.A., 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 today. 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 2001. 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 time." 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 http://defaced.alldas.org/?tld=il 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 To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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