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Hackers redirect Hamas site to serve up porn

Islamic militants blame Mossad for Apache attack

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Crackers have successfully compromised the Web servers of Islamic militants in order to redirect surfers to a site serving up Internet porn.

Surfers trying to access Hamas.org, will instead visit pay-per view site www.hotmotel.com, which offers a menu featuring items ranging from "sinful hardcore" to "beaver palace". We couldn't find anything on veiled women - although we looked.

Reuters quotes Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the political wing of Hamas, who accuses Israeli intelligence of being behind the attack, one of many taking place on the Internet as the current Palestinian uprising has spilled out into cyberspace.

"They are trying to disfigure the image of Islam and Muslims. As much as their anger and fire rises, they will try all and crazy ways to extinguish it," Yassin told Reuters.

No one has claimed responsibility for the breaking into Hamas's Web site, but the timing of the attack could be related to a suicide bombing last Sunday that killed three Israelis. The military wing of Hamas has claimed responsibility for that attack.

Paul Rogers, a network security analyst at MIS Corporate Defence, said that crackers had broken into Hamas's web server, which runs Apache on a Solaris platform, and changed the Apache configuration file in order to pull off the attack.

He added that the fact that asking for an obviously non-existent file from the server still results in a redirection, which points to the fact that the configuration file, rather than any of the site's Web pages, had been changed.

According to Rogers, the people who attacked the site had "at least a modicum of knowledge. It's likely they carried out the attack by exploiting a vulnerability in RPC services, which by default are not secure, or the way remote logins was set up on the Sun box, he added. ®

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