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Cyberspace becomes battleground in Gaza conflict

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Israeli military forces have reportedly hacked into a Hamas-run TV station to broadcast propaganda.

The hijack of the Al-Aqsa television station last weekend represents the latest phase in a war in cyberspace that has accompanied the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Al-Aqsa is known for featuring allegedly antisemitic childrens' cartoons as part of its broadcast schedule last year.

Instead of the controversial Farfour character, audiences were treated to propaganda clips featuring the gunning down of Hamas' leadership, accompanied by a message in Arabic that "Time is running out," Israel's Channel 10 (via Wired) reports. The cyberattack on Sunday followed earlier propaganda broadcasts and the bombing of Al-Aqsa's main studio by IDF planes last month.

On Saturday an Al-Aqsa broadcast was interrupted by the image of a ringing phone that was left unanswered, accompanied by an Arabic voiceover that stated "Hamas leaders are hiding and they are leaving you on the front line". Al-Aqsa radio has also been disrupted by propaganda broadcasts, Wired adds.

The conflict online that has accompanied real-world Arab-Israeli hostilities has been far from one-sided. For example, an Israeli domain registration server was hacked last week by a Moroccan hacking crew. Team Evil's assault on DomainTheNet's registration system had the effect of redirecting surfers hoping to visit ynetnews.com and Bank Discount to a webpage featuring an anti-Israeli message.

A huge upswing in hacker attacks since the conflict began last month has also been recorded, according to local reports. ®

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