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New York Times and Twitter Attacked By Syrian Electronic Army 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-no-not-the-twit-o-sphere dept.
cold fjord writes with news that the NY Times website was disrupted by hackers Tuesday afternoon. "In an interview, Mr. Frons said the attack was carried out by a group known as 'the Syrian Electronic Army, or someone trying very hard to be them.' The group attacked the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. The Web site first went down after 3 p.m.; once service was restored, the hackers quickly disrupted the site again." The Times wasn't the only site to be attacked: "Earlier today, a Twitter account allegedly belonging to the Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-Syrian-regime hacker collective, claimed to have taken over The New York Times website, Huffington Post UK's website and, by hacking into each of the site's registry accounts." The group was definitely able to change contact info for Twitter's domain. The Wall Street Journal notes that this is the same group that targeted media organizations a few months back. "When the SEA hacked the Twitter account of the Associated Press earlier this year, it posted a false headline to the account that said the White House had been attacked. The hoax caused U.S. stock markets to briefly lose $200 billion in value."
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New York Times and Twitter Attacked By Syrian Electronic Army

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:07AM (#44693599)

    and nothing of value was lost...

    Seriously, there's something I've never understood about electronic "warfare": unless you attack real targets and do something useful, such as penetrating your enemy's command network to steal plans or cryptographic keys or something, what's the point?

  • by gagol (583737) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:15AM (#44693647)
    So, first a story about the army being ready to raid the country, and just now a cyber-attack originating from syria happens... How do we know it's not US electronic warfare machine fabricating a bening attack to foster popular support for the coming war? After all, false flags before wars are the norm and not the exception.
  • by ls671 (1122017) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:19AM (#44693673) Homepage

    It's psychological warfare, a variation of propaganda. []

  • by gagol (583737) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:36AM (#44693741)
    Because it is harmless, but can be pushed as a threat in the medias? I just dont see what strategic interest Syria would try to bring the US army to its civil war. Or maybe it is the russians looking for a good old proxy war with the US...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:04AM (#44693863)

    The SEA are funded by Israel and the US.

  • Theatrics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmd (14060) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:05AM (#44693873)

    I am putting money on a flase flag that FOIA will release in 20 years. Sad part is the story is always the same. Just different details.

    Remember in the Stratfor hack some of the documents detailed a consortium of people planning chemical attacks in such a way as to place blame on Assad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:12AM (#44693893)

    So your thinking is that it won't be the use of chemical weapons on a civilian population killing over a thousand people in violation of international treaties, and in the face of repeated warnings from the international community that have been openly stated that will rile people up?

    Yeah... you got any proof that the rebels or even a covert op didn't launch the alleged chemical weapons? Because Syria launching chemical weapons makes about as much sense as Obama nuking Texas.

    I know, I know, you were damn sure Iraq had chemical weapons too, right? And they were throwing babies around, right? And Iran will have a nuke... what... 3 years ago now?

    You're a fucking brain-dead fool who is the very target of the absurd propaganda the rest of us shake our head at. You're at the bottom of the intelligence scale, son.

  • by ToadProphet (1148333) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:17AM (#44693913)

    It was on the front page of Fox News, so Joe Six-Pack likely noticed.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:30AM (#44693959)

    The correct answer is that it is a forgery. So you shouldn't believe it at all.

    Britam Defence, David Goulding and Philip Doughty []

    An article on 29 January reported allegations on the internet that the US Government had backed a plot to launch a chemicals weapons attack in Syria and blame it on the Assad regime. ... We now accept that email was fabricated and acknowledge there is no truth in any suggestion that Britam or its directors were willing to consider taking part in such a plot, which may have led to an atrocity.
    We apologise to each of them and have agreed to pay substantial damages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:11AM (#44694113)

    and nothing of value was lost...

    You missed the part about making stock markets drop. Frankly, I think they most likely did it for the LULZ; but if you recall, there was an investigation into short-selling of reinsurance companies before 9/11. I don't know what actually came of that investigation. The Bin Laden family is probably more sophisticated than these SEA guys, but we shouldn't underestimate them. Once you figure out how to move markets with disinformation, you can plow more R&D back into moving markets, as well as funding actual acts of terror which also move markets... and... well, it's exponential until it hits some kind of natural hard limit. They can't drive the S&P to zero, but they don't have to in order to make a *lot* of money.

    We're being played by somebody, somewhere. Our fucking brilliant leaders won't figure it out until they've lost lives as well as $billions.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:14AM (#44694131)

    The whole thing is fishy - why is it okay that the U.S. is supporting the jihadists in Syria anyways?

    I know you've been taught that 'jihadist' means 'anti-American terrorist,' but it's really not true. Give up the conditioning. A jihadist can be good, or bad, or even non-violent.

    I'm not saying we should invade Syria, just that a jihadist isn't what you think it is.

    I don't think any of the terrorist organizations are jihadist. They appear to be people who are outraged at some real or perceived wrong, and have convinced themselves that killing innocent people is proper redress.

    Just like Timothy McVeigh.

    AFAICT the only way Islam enters into Middle Eastern sourced terrorism is as part of the definition of "us" vs. "them".

  • by bluegutang (2814641) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @03:45AM (#44694407)

    Obligatory XKCD []...

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @06:40AM (#44694869)

    unless you attack real targets and do something useful, such as penetrating your enemy's command network to steal plans or cryptographic keys or something, what's the point?

    Exactly, just like terrorists. They should target army bases and stuff, right? What's the point of bombing, for example, marathon run audiences? Surely nobody is going to react to that...or will they?

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten