'Iranian Cyber Army' Hacks China's Main Search Engine

Baidu Inc., China's top search engine, was unavailable early Tuesday in China, and some Internet users reported seeing signs of an attack on the site by Iranian hackers.

Users reported seeing a banner for the "Iranian Cyber Army," complete with an Iranian flag and a shattered Star of David, when they tried to access Baidu's home page Tuesday.

Marten Strassburg, a Swedish citizen living in Beijing, said he saw the site defaced with the Iranian group's logos around 10:30 a.m. Beijing time. Mr. Strassburg and dozens of others posted screen shots of Baidu's defaced site online.

As of 11:30 a.m., Baidu was still unavailable, with users seeing just an error message when they attempted to visit the site.

Baidu spokeswoman Cynthia He declined to immediately comment, saying the company is looking into the matter.

Last month, a group also calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army attacked Twitter, temporarily disrupting access to U.S.-based social networking site. The Iranian Cyber Army also appeared to have attacked an Iranian reformist Web site.

It was unclear why the group, which appears to sympathize with the Iranian government rather than anti-Tehran protesters, would attack Baidu.

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