Hacker Defaces Al-Jazeera Web Site

The hacker calls himself Patriot and claims to be a member of a group known as the Freedom Cyber Force Militia.

A pro-American hacker on Thursday defaced the Web site of the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel. The incident caps off a tumultuous week for the channel, one in which its site was the target of a denial-of-service of attack and has been largely unavailable for hours at a time.

The defacement was done by a hacker calling himself Patriot and claiming to be a member of a group known as the Freedom Cyber Force Militia. The defacement showed a large map of the United States covered in the American flag and said, "Let freedom ring…God Bless our troops!"

The defacement was recorded by the staff at Zone-H.org and is available here.

Since Monday, Al-Jazeeras Web sites have been the target of quite a bit of malicious activity. An apparent DoS attack took down the channels new English-language Web site Tuesday and later swamped the Arabic site as well. The English site was just brought online Monday in order to provide coverage of the war on Iraq.

The controversial channel drew the ire of U.S. government and military officials earlier this week when it showed video from Iraqi television of executed American prisoners of war. The video also showed other POWs, who appeared to have been beaten, being interviewed by Iraqi TV reporters.

Various organizations that monitor Web site defacements and other hacking activity say that there has been a sharp increase in such actions since the beginning of the war. And even observers such as Zone-H are not immune. The site, which mirrors defacements and houses various other security-related content, was the target of a DoS attack earlier this week, as well.

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