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Google, Apple, and Microsoft downed in Pakistan

Hackers leave cryptic messages, offer no clear motive for attacks

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Pakistan’s web users were left high and dry over the weekend after nearly 300 high profile sites including Google.com.pk, Microsoft.pk, Apple.pk and Yahoo.pk were hacked and defaced by what appears to be a mixture of Pakistani and Turkish attackers.

Many local versions of big name sites including Apple, Microsoft and PayPal have been taken offline as a result and were still unavailable to local viewers at the time of writing.

Conflicting reports have emerged about the motivation behind theattacks, which downed over 280 sites on Saturday morning, according to the Express Tribune.

The Google.com.pk homepage and others were apparently replaced with a picture of two penguins walking over a bridge and the English message “Pakistan downed”, as well as a bizarre line in Turkish which translates as: “My homies in a friend always there for me/ Have not shot by me with every breath".

The hacker responsible for that, who uses the name KriptekS, did not leave any other messages on the sites, making it difficult to speculate what the purpose, if any, was, although the same person has been responsible for tens of thousands of defacements in the past, according to Zone-h.

KriptekS also included the name ‘Eboz’ on the Google defacement – a name linked to the defacement of hundreds of sites in the past going all the way back to 2009.

Several additional domains were hacked by Pakistani Notorious hackers, according to blog The Hacker’s Media which says the group warned .pk registrar PKNIC of a serious security hole but was ignored. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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