The attack, whose motivation remained unclear, was claimed by the "Lizard Squad", a group that has taken credit previously for denial-of-service attacks around the world.
    
It was not clear why the troubled airline was targeted, but the Lizard Squad said on its Twitter feed that it was "Going to dump some loot found on malaysiaairlines.com servers soon."
    
Visitors to the website were re-directed to another page bearing an image of a tuxedo-wearing lizard and reading "Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD - OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE".
    
It also carried the headline "404 - Plane Not Found", an apparent reference to the airlines' puzzling loss of flight MH370 last year with 239 people aboard which tipped the already struggling carrier into crisis.
    
Media reports said versions of the website takeover in some regions included the wording "ISIS will prevail".
    
Normal access to the site appeared to be restored later today, but it marked another bout of bad press for the beleaguered national carrier.
    
The unexplained loss of MH370 and the airline's poor handling of the crisis severely damaged public confidence in the carrier, sending business into a tailspin.
    
It has since been taken over by a Malaysian government investment fund seeking to rescue the company.
    
A few hours before the website was restored, Malaysia Airlines had released a statement confirming its Internet domain name had been compromised, re-directing users to the dummy page.

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