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Hackers on anti-Egypt spree bury Egyptology journal in the sand

Bystanders in online war blasted offline

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Hackers waging war against Egyptian websites have forced the closure of Egyptological, a journal on Egyptology.

Egyptologist Kate Phizackerley, who published the web periodical with Andrea Byrnes, has also closed down her personal blog for the same reason. Egyptological was shut down after it was "targeted by a professional hacking group as part of an onslaught on Egypt-related websites" during a wave of unrest that started late last year.

The hackers see Egyptology sites as "representing a form of political threat", according to Phizackerley. For now, she has abandoned hope of restoring Egyptological and her personal website after negotiations with the hackers broke down.

Various ancient history bloggers - including Mike Heiser and Roger Pearse - accused Islamic hardliners of knocking Phizackerley's web magazine offline. Phizackerley said on Tuesday she is unable to confirm this and expressed a desire to avoid politicising the issue.

"There seem to be suggestions that Andrea and I know the affiliation of those who hacked us," Phizackerley wrote. "We don't and by policy I haven't speculated. Part of the reason for my reticence is that some, although not all, of the hackers have been polite to us. In particular, at no point did the hackers claim association with any religion.

"We have also made no public assessment of our web host for Egyptological. Were the site to reappear it would be with a different host, but we needed to swap hosts anyway on grounds of capacity and economy," she added. ®

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