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Mass hack sees Google, Microsoft, Apple downed in Pakistan

Web pages belonging to some of the tech world’s biggest names were hacked and defaced over the weekend, following a sweeping cyber-attack on Pakistani domains.

The ‘.pk’ sites of nearly 300 organisations including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo were hijacked on Friday and remained affected for much of the weekend, though it appears most have now been restored.

A number of news outlets are attributing the hack to a Turkish group named Eboz, even if its motive for the assault is unclear. Most of the affected sites had their homepages replaced with an image of two penguins on a bridge (above), with a cryptic message in Turkish translating to, “eboz: of a friend always there for me / My homies have not shot by me with every breath.” Enlightening.

Google took a major hit in the breach, with Gmail, YouTube and other services run by the search giant going down, much to the frustration of Pakistani web users. One such user, programmer Irfan Ahmed, published a list of 110 ‘.pk’ victims, which shows that Cisco, ebay and HSBC were also among those affected.

The Middle East has played a host to a number of notable cyber-security incidents recently, not least in Israel which has faced an unprecedented barrage of attacks following the country’s airstrikes on Gaza.