Israeli Ad Students Redesign 'Ugly' Arab Web Hacks To Make Them More Cheerful

mccann israel hackDestructive — but cute!

Photo: McCann Digital Israel

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.”

(Israel and the U.S. were recently suspected of a cyber attack against Iran to delay nuclear development.)

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.”

They made contact with five hackers thus far, although none of the work has appeared on a hacked site.

PREVIOUSLY: McCann Digital recently got attention for its early and creative use of Facebook’s new timeline to create an anti-drug campaign that juxtaposed what a year in the life of a man would look like both clean and as an addict.

This is an example of what an Israeli site looks like after it has been hacked.

And here's how HaBezefer redesigned the page:

The re-designs keep the general message ...

... but updated the backgrounds with colourful imagery.

These new options have yet to have been adopted.

HaBezefer and McCann Digital explain their reasoning here:

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