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Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation website latest victim of hackers

Another local website has been hacked by cyber criminals operating...

Another local website has been hacked by cyber criminals operating from outside the UAE. This time the target was a government department.

The latest attack, following the hacking of the Gulf News website by an Israeli last week, involved the Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation Department site by a hacker who vandalised its home page with abusive language and slogans.

The department site which provides flight information was hacked on Sunday, according to an official of the department's Data Processing Section who did not want to be named. The website installed on the department's server was immediately shut down to minimise damage.

"The hackers, believed to be from India, could only damage the front page of the site, as we acted quickly to shut it down," the official said. The hackers identified themselves as "Hindustan Hackers".

Asked if the IT section could trace the hackers, he said, "No. We have not located the hackers. But we are trying to find out from where the site was hacked. We are not sure whether the site was really hacked from a computer in India."

This is the fourth time in recent months that the site has been hacked. "First it was hacked from Israel, then from Kuwait and Russia, and now, probably, from India," he said. The department is revamping its entire website to install it on Etisalat's server.

"A whole new set-up with upgraded firewall and more security will be installed for the public service," he said. "The hackings have been occurring due partly to a weak firewall. Any animal, a dog or a cat, can enter your house if the door is weak or there is no door at all," he said.

Last week, Gulf News had to shut down its website after it was hacked by an Israeli hacker. The hackers vandalised the site with the message "You have been hacked...Long Live Israel...You were owned by Senodyne". The message was accompanied by an Israeli flag.

Gulf News investigations are focusing on an individual with links to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Haifa and an interest in the theory of cryptography, the art of writing or breaking codes. Access to the web edition has been restored.