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Thursday, 26 October, 2000, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
Israel under cyber attack
Cyber attack on Israel
Several official Israeli web sites have crashed after falling prey to a concerted jamming campaign by Islamic groups around the world.

The website of the Israeli parliament was paralysed on Thursday morning after being penetrated by hackers believed by officials to be based in Saudi Arabia.

And the foreign ministry website has been down since Wednesday after being overwhelmed by floods of incoming mail.

The Prime Minister's Office and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have also come under attack.

Attack call

Local newspapers had previously reported that Israeli teenagers had sabotaged a website of the Lebanese guerrilla movement Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak: web site jammed

Reports say Islamic groups provided access to computer programmes which allowed users to flood Israeli sites with huge amounts of electronic mail.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office was the first to be affected but the site was later restored.

The IDF web site avoided collapse by switching from the local Netvision server to one connected to United States communications giant AT & T.

Cyber wars are not unusual in the Middle East.

An Israeli teenager who claimed to have destroyed an Iraqi Government internet site was hailed as a hero in Israel last year.

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See also:

23 Mar 00 | Middle East
Palestinians secure cyber state
16 Feb 00 | Talking Point
Can the internet ever be secure?
22 Jan 99 | Americas
US cyber terrorism plea
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