Hackers put porn on militant Muslim site

Palestinian uprising provokes an online cyber-attack

The Web site of Muslim militant group, Hamas, has suffered a pornographic defacement after the fundamentalist organisation owned up to a suicide bombing that killed three Israelis.

For the past 24 hours, surfers trying to access www.hamas.org have been automatically re-routed to a pay-per-view pornography site, offering material such as "Raw sex videos" and "Lesbian sex". It is also impossible to close down the page straight away, as a new browser is immediately fired up in its place.

Hamas accuses Israeli intelligence of defacing their site, as part of an ongoing Israeli cyberwar -- dubbed e-Jihad -- backed by five months of religious turmoil in Palestine. No one has claimed responsibility for the hacking.

"I'm telling them to die of their own fury," Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the political wing of Hamas, told Reuters. "They are trying to disfigure the image of Islam and Muslims."

Hamas' military wing, the Izz el-deen al-Quassam brigade, admitted in a statement that one of its 23-year-old Palestinian members, Ahmed Omar Aliyan, carried out the suicide bombing on Sunday in the Israeli city Netanya. The bomber and three civilians were killed in the blast that set off a security alert across Israel.

Hamas had been unable to remove the defacement from their site at the time of going to press, but has announced that it will seek advice from Internet specialists to protect its site from further attacks.

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