A couple of trolls want Israel’s name removed from Google Maps and decided to express those sentiments by defacing the ‘Google Palestine’ search home page.

Google.ps, the Palestinian version of Google’s web search, was hijacked and redirected to another web site for some time Monday before being restored to its usual default page.


The site to which users had been directed displayed a page with a message that read, “uncle google we say hi from palestine to remember you that the country in google map not called israel. its called Palestine”.

The page also contained a screen shot of a Google Map of the region, followed by the text (as it appeared), “#Question : what would happens if we changed the country title of Isreal to Palestine in google maps !!! it would be revolution.

It concluded with, “So Listen to rihanna and be cool :P,” and was signed by several individuals identifying themselves as Dod, Hij@ker, alzher, Mr_AnarShi-T, and toxico-dz.

ZDNet described the details behind the incident:

The attackers were able to deface the site with a successful DNS hijacking attempt. In doing so, the Google homepage was redirected to a Morocco-based server. We also checked with the WHOIS provider of the Palestinian top-level domain name (.ps), which confirmed that Google.ps remained under the ownership of Google U.S. in Mountain View, California.


The main Google logo image was directly linked to a Google-owned domain. The Google Maps screenshot was hosted by a third-party Arabic image and file sharer, known as GulfUp. Also, users were prompted to accept a RealPlayer plugin — a Web extension scarcely used nowadays — which was used to play a Rihanna track.

A Google spokesperson told ZDNet that the site had not been hacked, saying in an email, “Some users visiting Google.ps have been getting redirected to a different website; Google services for the Google.ps domain were not hacked. We’re in contact with the organization responsible for managing this domain name so we can help resolve the problem.”

Google sparked harsh criticism in May when it changed its Google.ps regional search page from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine.”  Israel’s deputy foreign minister urged the search giant in June to revoke the label, citing politics in Google’s decision.

From the Times of Israel in June, 2013:

“We do not think that a large and respected company like Google, which deals in technology, should enter the arena of policy making,” the deputy foreign minister said at a Knesset Science and Technology Committee hearing. “The Israeli stance in the matter is well known — a Palestinian state, if established, will be the result of direct negotiations with the Palestinians,” he said.

Trolls, being what they are, would apparently like to make their own rules.