Arab hackers go on the Israeli offensive

It seems that the progressively serious stand-off between the Israelis and the Palestinians over the hapless soldier that has been arrested on the Gaza strip has moved into cyberspace.

Reports on the world's newswires over the weekend suggest that Pro-Palestinian hackers have shut down hundreds of Israeli Web sites in protest at the escalating situation.

The Jerusalem Post said on Friday that around 700 Web sites were shut down in an obvious campaign. Web sites affected were replaced by the message: "Hacked by Team-Evil Arab hackers u KILL palestin people we KILL Israeli servers."

According to the Associated Press, most of the affected sites were back in operation over the weekend. Sites affected reportedly included those operated by Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, as well as a hospital in Haifa, BMW Israel, Subaru Israel and Citroen Israel.

The AP says that the hacker group, which has at least six members and is based in Morocco, started attacking US government Web sites back in 2004...