Students from HaBezefer, the Israeli school of advertising and art, and ad agency McCann Digital Israel, came up with an unconventional response to cyberattacks: Re-design hacked takeover pages so they look more aesthetically pleasing.
McCann Digital art director Nir Refuah told BI that “Israel is under constant cyber attacks each month, dozens of Israeli websites are being hacked by Arab hacker groups and replaced with anti-Israeli web pages.”
While McCann and the students didn’t have an immediate answer to end the wave of cyberattacks, they did come up with a way to solve their other hacking qualms, the “uninspired designs each time: black background, grotesque low-res images and unbearable amounts of text.”
The solution? Students found 50 hacked pages, and while they kept the content, they redesigned the pages to look more cheerful. Refuah told BI that the students sent the redesign templates to various hacker group forums with the message, “We would like to end all cyber wars, but in the meantime — if you must hack our sites, at least leave something beautiful.”
You can see how the students packaged their work as if they were presenting it to a potential client here.
So here are some old, ugly hacked Israeli sites, and how Betzefer re-designed them:
'Asma, your husband murders and you worry about style?'
Ongoing Syria violence leads diplomats’ wives to launch creative initiative with goal of appealing to heart of Damascus’ first lady Asma Assad. ‘For the sake of your people. Stop your husband’
The violence in Syria continues and the international community’s failure to take action to solve the crisis and bring an end to the killing of innocent civilians has led a group of women to launch a creative initiative with the goal of appealing to the heart of the Syrian leadership - the first lady of Syria – Asma Assad wife of Bashar Assad.
A four-minute clip, posted on YouTube by the wives of the ambassadors of Britain and Germany to the UN call on Asma to stop her husband from continuing the killing in Syria. The Daily Mail reported that the clip alternates pictures of the stylish 36-year-old Asma Assad with horrific scenes of Syria’s conflict and its victims. Graphic photographs of children killed or tortured in the more than year-long conflict in which more than 9,000 people have died also appear.
Youtube clip calls on Asma to take action
The petition letter which accompanies the clip states: “Some women care for style… and some care for their people. Some women struggle for their image and some women struggle for survival. Some women have forgotten what they preached about peace and some women can only pray for their dead. “Some women pretend that they have no choice and some women just act. What happened to you, Asma? Hundreds of Syrian children have already been killed or injured. One day, our children will ask us what we have done to stop this bloodshed. What will your answer be, Asma?”
Struggling for her image? Asma Assad
"Stand up for peace, Asma. Speak out now. For the sake of your people. Stop your husband and his supporters. Stop being a bystander. No one cares about your image. We care about your action," the petition letter read. If that is not enough, the ambassadors’ wives also tried to pull at Asma’s heartstrings: “Asma, when you kiss your own children goodnight, another mother will find the place next to her empty. These children could all be your children. They are your children.”
In response to the clip the wife of Britain’s ambassador to the UN Lyall Grant told the Al-arabiya network: “This started as a private, personal initiative from Huberta and me - independent of the UN or our governments. We only launched it this morning and since then it’s grown exponentially, which shows how women all over the world, from all walks of life, have supported this message.”