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New York Times and Twitter Attacked By Syrian Electronic Army 169

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 ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:19AM (#44693673) Homepage

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

    • 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 Anonymous Coward

        You missed the part about making stock markets drop.

        Maybe we shouldn't let those those people rule our world until they grow up and stop being such nervous nellies then.

    • 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?

      • This is just speculation, but I think the boston bombers did it because they wanted to be famous. That and some religious bullshit.

        An actual country who has hired cyber-mercenaries on the other hand, it makes no sense. Unless you're suggesting Syria is doing this for attention?

        Now, if the "syrian electronic army" actually has nothing to do with Syria, then that's a reasonable explanation, but without something suggesting it's just a bunch of domestic suburban juveniles, I'm not sure it holds much
    • Maybe the SEA had issues w/ the Liberal bias of the NYT
    • That hacked twitter post cause a $200 billion temporary loss in the stock market. You could make some serious cash if you knew it was fake and bought low, or knew the hack was coming and shorted stock beforehand.
  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:13AM (#44693627)
    Is that like the Electric Moog Orchestra?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Whats your favorite color?

    Security questions are such a fucking joke.

    • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

      Agreed. They all seem to want you to put in information that anyone could find by browsing your Facebook profile (assuming you have one, natch). It's better to answer them with random words (in case you have to answer them to a live rep) and use a password manager to keep track of them.

      Another option is to perform a simple substitution. Instead of answering "What was the name of your first pet?" correctly, put down your mother's maiden name. Your pet's real name will go under, say, a question asking where y

      • That's an excellent strategy...when the various websites use the same set of questions. In my experience, you're very lucky to get three consistent options for those kinds of substitutions.
    • What is your favorite superhero?

      Sounds like an occasion for a good Iron Man vs. Batman religious debate: Two billionerd techno-vigilantes, one with the cocky attitude of a cat that just got a jar of cream, the other with the surly attitude of a cat that just got a jar of cream stuffed up its ass.

      Who's your favorite? Who would win a match?

    • What is the average airspeed of a swallow?

      This security type was already broken in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

  • 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.
    • we must consider the false flag gambit

      but there's also the false false flag angle

      finally, there is the distinct possibility we could be dealing with a false false false flag attack!

      (twiddles fingers, eyes darting)

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      Because the US doesn't need hacking the NY Times as an excuse to invade Syria.
      • by gagol ( 583737 )
        Ok then, can you explain to me why would Syria would redirect nytimes domain to its own address? If I was to attack someone online, the last thing I would do is point my attacker back to me. This makes no sense at all. Have fun drinking your cool-aid.
        • by jon3k ( 691256 )
          I don't have to. This is totally unnecessary. Your premise is that the US Govt hacked the NYT as an excuse to invade Syria. My point is: it doesn't matter who hacked the NYT, we're going to invade Syria anyway. So who cares?

          I think your tin foil hat might be on a little too tight today.
    • Who stands to benefit from such a physical war exactly? Another war with no exit strategy and no real allies. I don't think it's been long enough to where enough people have forgotten how bad that worked the previous two times.

      Now the cyber security industry wanting more money to be thrown their way, that sounds a lot more likely.
      • by gagol ( 583737 )
        Geopolitics. Russia is an ally if Syria, to the point they have a naval base there. Controlling the region would be good enough reason to fabricate a (pr) reason to go there. Rule #1 when you are about to enter a war is to demonixe your opponent. Here we are now...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I had to guess, someone (name rhymes with banana-rama-me-m-mobama) wants war.

  • I've heard several reports today of people receiving direct messages from apparently compromised accounts. The direct message apparently contains a link to a website asking the potential victim to confirm their password.

  • This sounds like a couple of teenagers having some fun. I'll bet they're thrilled at all the publicity its getting.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah I'm wondering what they call it when they go in with planes, bomb the shit out of every city with white phosphorous, murder civilians by the thousands, deploy killer robots that shoot anything that moves and torture any survivors in secret prisons, where they are kept eternally without trial or even informing them as to why they are arrested. Then put a phony puppet government and use the entire country for a money laundering operations while keeping it in a state of constant civil war so they can just

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The famous Commander Taco ( well, famous around here anyway )
    now works for the NSA. His job at WaPo is merely a cover.

    You read it here first.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:02AM (#44693859)

    In anticipation of an attack, France has formally surrendered !!

  • 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 mpe ( 36238 )
      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.

      Unlikely to be that soon. 30-60 years appears to be the more usual timescale.
  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:06AM (#44693875) Journal
    Since the domain registrar is what was attacked, the site is still "up," just not reachable at the name You can still access the site from its IP address: []

    Note that many links on the site will not work because they point to the domain. To read articles you'll have to copy the link, paste it into the location field and change "" to ""... for example:

    Clicking a link on their home page attempts to take you here: []
    But that won't work, so you want to change it to: []

    The CSS is still pointing to, so the page will look funny, but at least you can read it.

  • Wasn't the NSA surveillance program supposed to put a stop to things like this?

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The NSA like role will be to help identify the private phones of the military leadership in Syria.
      The senior staff will get a few calls about standing down their better performing/more complex Russian weapons. The UK/CIA backed 'freedom' fighters can then advance and there will be a pure flowers and candy victory.
      After the US backed freedom fighters/mercs win if the staff did as they where told, clean identity papers/cash will be offered.
      If the defence networks light up or any real defensive role is take
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wasn't the NSA surveillance program supposed to put a stop to things like this?

      The NSA is hardly going to stop the very thing they are likely doing, i.e. pretending to be some obviously BS "Syrian Electronic Army". It's so fake, it's laughable. But in the Land of the Liar and the Greater Fool, it doesn't matter. Most Americans don't even know what a false flag operation is, they are so fucking stupid.

  • 1) Hack news paper, put up false headline
    2) Wait for stock market to drop, buy large
    3) Sell when stock market recovers

  • I would not be surprised at all if this was a local attack, designed as a false provocation to build the case for invasion. It will be interesting to watch and see what other "attacks" happen. Though, if Syria is gassing it's own people, something should be done and the UN is too incompetent to fulfill it's charter. It seems the United States gets to re-evaluate it's position as world police every few years when some wack job government goes berserk on it's people and the UN is too busy being the UN to do a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... you'll believe anything.
    What utter nonsense. Syria are the victims in all of this, thanks to Zionists and Zionist symathisers in Congress.

  • >The hoax caused U.S. stock markets to briefly lose $200 billion in value
    You know when I found out they could hack the power grid, I thought, wow what damage could that cause!
    Then I heard they could hack into missal silos and probably decrypt the launch codes given enough time to brute force the sequence, I knew for sure how much damage that could cause....
    Now i see that they can hack media outlets where people get their information from and post hoax stories on almost any news paper or channel, getting

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.