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'Electronic war on Palestine' since UNESCO membership

Feb. 13, 2012 10:38 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 15, 2012 8:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The head of the Palestinian telecommunications provider said Sunday that hackers have escalated cyber attacks on Palestinian websites and internet servers since Palestine joined UNESCO three months ago.

In comments on PA TV program 'Facing the Media' Paltel Chief Executive Ammar al-Ikir said: "There is an electronic war against Palestine, which began after Palestine became a member of UNESCO."

He called on internet companies to collaborate over protection mechanisms to fend off hackers. A number of Palestinian banks have been recently subject to unsuccessful hacks, he said.

PA communication and information technology minister Mashhour Abu Dakka told the program "we were able to stop 99 percent of the hackers’ attacks and only a few of them were successful."

On Wednesday PalTel issued a statement saying that its' service is facing "interruptions" which are slowing down the connection, and last week several Palestinian news sites were temporarily shut down by hackers, including sites affiliated to Ma'an.

"This attack will not be the last, and the hacking will not stop," Abu Dakka said, calling Wednesday's shut down a massive loss that tricked current systems by using new tactics.

The ministry is holding talks with the telecommunications company to prevent further attacks, and anyone discovered to be involved in hacking attacks will be punished under the law, he added.
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