For many users in the Palestinian territories, google.ps appeared to have been infiltrated and defaced by hackers Tuesday morning. The hackers apparently objected to how Google Maps labeled the borders of Israel and Palestine and claimed that if it were changed, it would cause a revolution. The hackers concluded by instructing users to “be cool” and listen to Rihanna.
Fortunately for Google users, Google Palestine itself was not hacked and no user data was compromised. Instead, hackers infiltrated a local Palestinian domain name server and set up a redirect to a new site. The defaced google.ps site that users saw was not actually the Palestinian Google search page.
Google switched its name from “Google: Palestinian Territories” to “Google: Palestine” on May 1. The small change carried great symbolic significance for people in the area and caused many strong reactions by both Israelis and Palestinians.
Google told the Washington Post that it is in contact with the domain registry to resolve the problem. At the time of writing, the redirect issue seems to have been corrected.
Originally from Northern California, Ryan W. Neal came to New York to earn his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He joined IB Times April 2013, and is a writer...