The websites of Arab news service Al-Jazeera have been hacked by a pro-regime Syrian group calling itself Al-Rashedon.
Al-Jazeera’s two English-language news sites (aljazeera.com and .net) as well as its sports site were all affected, with results varying from a complete failure to load to a splash screen showing a defaced Al-Jazeera homepage, a Syrian flag, an a statement in Arabic from the hackers accusing Al-Jazeera of anti-regime bias in its coverage of the Syrian uprising.
Gizmodo posted a rough translation of the statement:
“We have hacked you because your lack of support of Syrian government and militant groups backed by that government. Al Jazeera has been spreading lies. We’re compelled to do so on behalf of the Syrian people.”
The Qatari-based satellite news service has been generally supportive of the protest movements of the Arab Spring, as has its main backers, Qatar’s royal family, who bankrolled the Libyan rebels and is reportedly doing the same in Syria now.
Pak Net Mafia News displayed a much longer (untranslated) statement in Arabic on a graphic linked to the attack that included pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and gruesome depictions of the Al-Jazeera logo scrawled in blood. The hacker news site attributed the attack to a hacker calling himself “The Pro” and showed links to defacement notices posted at Mirror-Ma and Zone-h claiming credit. An update later noted that Al-Jazeera’s sports site was also hacked.