Hackers bring down 50 Israeli web sites

In what appears to be a coordinated campaign of attacks, hackers have struck down more than 50 Israeli websites, tech blog Arab Crunch has reported

All of the sites affected have URLs that end with the '.co.il' domain name. They include a number of Microsoft sites: www.microsoft.co.il, hotmail.co.il, http://live.co.il, and http://blogs.microsoft.co.il, all of which were attacked yesterday but are now reported to be working again.

The Israeli sites of other top US companies were also targeted. At the time of writing, http://coca-cola.co.il is still down. Another affected URL, www.arbiv.co.il, leads to a web page vowing to kill all Israelis and branding them "terrorists".

The attacks follow a string of hacking attempts on US fast-food chain Pizza Hut and a number of Egyptian government web sites.

A message left on the Microsoft.co.il web site suggests that the attacker may be Turkish, but refers to the 'Pakbugs Group' that last year hacked Google Morocco.

The attacks are believed to be a protest at the recent storming of a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force, which left nine dead, four of them Turkish citizens.

The IDF came in for further criticism after posting footage of the attack on the web.

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