Google, Apple, and Microsoft downed in Pakistan

Hackers leave cryptic messages, offer no clear motive for attacks


Pakistan’s web users were left high and dry over the weekend after nearly 300 high profile sites including Google.com.pk, Microsoft.pk, Apple.pk and Yahoo.pk were hacked and defaced by what appears to be a mixture of Pakistani and Turkish attackers.

Many local versions of big name sites including Apple, Microsoft and PayPal have been taken offline as a result and were still unavailable to local viewers at the time of writing.

Conflicting reports have emerged about the motivation behind theattacks, which downed over 280 sites on Saturday morning, according to the Express Tribune.

The Google.com.pk homepage and others were apparently replaced with a picture of two penguins walking over a bridge and the English message “Pakistan downed”, as well as a bizarre line in Turkish which translates as: “My homies in a friend always there for me/ Have not shot by me with every breath".

The hacker responsible for that, who uses the name KriptekS, did not leave any other messages on the sites, making it difficult to speculate what the purpose, if any, was, although the same person has been responsible for tens of thousands of defacements in the past, according to Zone-h.

KriptekS also included the name ‘Eboz’ on the Google defacement – a name linked to the defacement of hundreds of sites in the past going all the way back to 2009.

Several additional domains were hacked by Pakistani Notorious hackers, according to blog The Hacker’s Media which says the group warned .pk registrar PKNIC of a serious security hole but was ignored. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Google has more reasons why it doesn't like antitrust law that affects Google
    It'll ruin Gmail, claims web ads giant

    Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.

    The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.

    AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation. 

    Continue reading
  • Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near
    Overhaul of Chrome add-ons set for January, Google says it's for all our own good

    Special report Seven months from now, assuming all goes as planned, Google Chrome will drop support for its legacy extension platform, known as Manifest v2 (Mv2). This is significant if you use a browser extension to, for instance, filter out certain kinds of content and safeguard your privacy.

    Google's Chrome Web Store is supposed to stop accepting Mv2 extension submissions sometime this month. As of January 2023, Chrome will stop running extensions created using Mv2, with limited exceptions for enterprise versions of Chrome operating under corporate policy. And by June 2023, even enterprise versions of Chrome will prevent Mv2 extensions from running.

    The anticipated result will be fewer extensions and less innovation, according to several extension developers.

    Continue reading
  • UK competition watchdog seeks to make mobile browsers, cloud gaming and payments more competitive
    Investigation could help end WebKit monoculture on iOS devices

    The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.

    "When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."

    The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022