Pro-Palestinian hackers shut down Groupon Israel site

TEL AVIV Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:46am EST

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TEL AVIV Nov 19 (Reuters) - A pro-Palestinian group claiming to be Pakistani shut down the Israel website of daily deal firm Groupon on Monday to protest at an Israeli army offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The hacking attack came a day after Israel's Finance Ministry said more than 44 million hacking attempts had been made on Israeli government websites since last Wednesday when Israel began air strikes on targets in Gaza.

Users trying to access Groupon Israel's website were confronted with an offensive and expletive-filled tirade against Israel and Jews.

Groupon Israel called it a "light attack" on servers in the United States where the groupon.co.il site is based.

"The database and the transactions and users' information are hosted on Groupon servers secured in Germany," the firm said in a statement. "It's important to stress that there is no link between the networks and ... no concerns about data security."

Groupon, the world's largest company offering daily shopping, travel and dining deals, said it was addressing the disruption and the site would be back up and running soon.

Israel launched a campaign of massive air strikes last week with stated aim of halting rocket fire into Israel by Palestinian militants in Gaza. Some 90 Palestinians and three Israeli civilians have been killed as a result of continued Israeli strikes and Hamas rocket salvoes.

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