Hackers deface NATO, US Army Web sites

Web sites belonging to the U.S. Army and NATO have been hacked by pro-Palestinian activists.

Hackers have taken down two high-profile targets as they continue their ongoing Web attacks in support of Palestine, defacing Web sites run by the U.S. Army and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The attacks on Thursday took down the Web sites for The United States Army Military District of Washington and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, according to Zone-H, a Web site that tracks defacement activity.

The NATO site is now back online, but the U.S. Army site was still offline Friday morning. A version of the Web page cached by Google reads: "Stop attacks u israel and usa ! you cursed nations ! one day muslims will clean the world from you ! " NATO didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Most other U.S. Army sites do not appear to have been affected by that attack. The U.S. Army Military District of Washington is an army command, based in Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

Using what's known as a SQL injection attack, the group also defaced the Web site of the Joint Force Headquarters of the National Capital Region, which handles military incident response for the Washington, D.C., area, according to Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A U.S. Army spokeswoman was unable to immediately comment on reports of the hacks.

All of these attacks are credited to a Turkish hacking group called Agd_Scorp / Peace Crew.

This group has claimed many Web hacks over the past few months, including Microsoft's Web sites in Canada, Ireland and China; Shell; Harvard University; and the U.S. National Basketball Association, Warner said in a blog posting.

"Although the group is now calling themselves 'Peace Crew,' the same membership was calling itself 'Terrorist Crew' as recently as December," Warner wrote.

As tensions in Gaza have intensified over the past few weeks, loosely organized hacking groups from countries such as Morocco, Turkey and Iran have defaced thousands of Web pages. This latest wave of attacks has mostly focused on Israeli sites, particularly easy targets belonging to individuals or small businesses. However, some high-profile targets have been hit too, such as news site Ynetnews.com.

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Robert McMillan

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