Iran hackers target newspaper group sites
Manama, April 7, 2011
A group calling itself the Delta Hacking Team has tried to hack the website of the Gulf Daily News (GDN), along with four other publications belonging to TradeArabia's parent group, Al Hilal.
Security measures meant they were unable to tamper with the newspaper's website, but they did plant files on one of its servers that have since been removed.
The hackers, apparently from Iran, succeeded in changing the homepages of four other publications, replacing them with a map of the region and labelling it as the Persian Gulf. The sites have now been restored.
Trade Arabia webmaster Francis Pangilinan said Al Hilal's IT team worked overnight on Tuesday to ensure minimal disruption. The hacking happened on Tuesday at 1pm," said Pangilinan, who is in charge of monitoring and updating Al Hilal websites including the GDN.
"I discovered their attempt (to hack the GDN) as four other websites had been hit. "The hackers changed the sites' main pages and placed a message with their name and a picture of the Arabian Gulf, naming it the Persian Gulf.
"They were not successful in changing the GDN's homepage, as it has been secured well to protect it from such attempts."
The hackers did plant files on one of the GDN's servers, but our IT team was able to remove them and was yesterday trying to identify their nature.
"The files are programmed to replicate themselves on the folder structure of the site, but visitors did not sense such changes," said Pangilinan.
"We have been working all night to ensure this doesn't affect the GDN site."
It is believed the Delta Hacking Team behind Tuesday's attack is Iranian based on messages left on other sites it has targeted.
Another clue is the map left on four Al Hilal websites identifying the region as the Persian Gulf - a name still used by Iran, despite the GCC calling it the Arabian Gulf. -TradeArabia News Service