A team of hackers successfully broke into Google Palestine on Monday, covering the home page with protest literature. “Uncle google,” wrote Cold z3ro, Haml3t, Sas and Dr@g, “we say hi from palestine to remember you that the country in google map not called israel. its called Palestine.”
A little further down the real message comes through: “# Question : what would happen if we changed the country title of Isreal to Palestine in google maps !!! it would be a revolution.” Then this is weird: “So listen to rihanna and be cool :P”
It’s actually kind of an interesting question. Google’s had a Palestinian domain since 2009 that’s now called “Google Palestine”, not “Google Palestinian Territories”. But on Maps, the borders of Palestine are there, but there is no name. It seems a little bit inconsistent for Google to recognise Palestine with its own portal but fail to name it on the map. It’s also unclear if the hackers want all of Israel labelled as Palestine or just the unmarked area.
Either way, it’s kind of impressive that the hackers managed to take over Google homepage. According to TechCrunch, it’s more likely that they just hijacked the domain and redirected it, rather than breaking into Google’s servers. It didn’t last long, though, as the page was down within a couple of hours of the hack.
For now there’s no word form Google and no collateral damage. Looks like it’s just another relatively harmless hacker protest. [TechCrunch]