Here, NPR tells readers that the group brought down The New York Times, took out The Washington Post and took control of npr.org.
In the latest hacking that brought down The New York Times on Tuesday, evidence points to the activist group of hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army. This group also took out The Washington Post briefly last week and has used phishing attacks to take control of NPR.org and other national news organizations in previous months. The Washington Post notes:
“Several news Web sites, including The Washington Post, were affected by a breach at the third-party content provider Outbrain, which redirected some visitors to sites promoting the online activist group, the Syrian Electronic Army.”
You may recall The Times just suffered a two-hour outage earlier this month, but a spokeswoman blamed that on an internal error and not a “malicious external attack,” which is how she described today’s incident.
So What Is The Syrian Electronic Army?
The SEA is a group of anonymous computer hackers who support embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. The group seems to have emerged during the rise of anti-regime protests in Syria in the spring of 2011. While Assad has a background in computing, “the group’s formal ties to the administration are unclear,” The Post reports.
Infosecurity Magazine did note, however, that the group’s official website was registered by the Syrian Computer Society, and Reuters reported that the Syrian Computer Society is “a group now widely believed to have been something of a precursor to the ‘Syrian Electronic Army.’ “