Dubai-based pan-Arab television station Al Arabiya yesterday said hackers had attacked its website.
The hacked website, www.alarabiya.net, showed an Israeli flag set on fire and a statement that read: "Serious warning: If attacks on Shia websites continue, none of your websites will be safe."
Anas Fouda, editorial manager of the website, said: "Hackers seized Al Arabiya's domain shortly after midnight through a security loophole in the domain. They claim to be Shias but there is no proof of that."
The content of the website has not been affected and investigation into the identity of the hackers was underway, Fouda said.
No Shia group had immediately claimed responsibility for the hacking.
Sharjah-based daily newspaper Al Khaleej has previously faced several hacking attempts on its website with statements that the Arabian Gulf was "Persian Gulf".
Other websites and blogs claimed a warning had been sent from Dubai Media City to Al Arabiya telling it to review its news content that allegedly provoked tensions among different groups within the Muslim world.
Dubai Media City denied any involvement in the hacking of Al Arabiya news website. DMC Director Mohammed Al Mulla told Elaph – an electronic newspaper project – that messages published online in the name of Dubai Media City were fake.
"[A] published letter on several blogs and websites was totally fabricated and had no true basis whatsoever and it was neither issued by Dubai Media City nor any government source in the emirate of Dubai.
"The fonts used in the letter are never used in our paperwork and documentation. It was not written on the original letterhead of Dubai Media City, the phone and fax numbers had no bases and the way the dates were written were not how we do it."
With inputs from Reuters and Elaph