A video has surfaced this week showing an alleged interview with the commander of the Syrian based hacker group “Syrian Electronic Army” (SEA). In the video the speaker claims that the SEA hacker group can hack any website that posts false information about Syria within just a few hours.
The SEA has gained notoriety by hacking several western news company websites and social media outlets. One of their favorite tactics to gain access seems to be via social engineering. From reports, the group sends very believable e-mails containing booby trapped links.
Though most of the attacks seem to be more nuisance type attacks, the SEA did successfully defaced a US Marine Corps recruiting site last month. I doubt they are on the top list of targets for retaliation by US Cyber Command, as our forces are more concerned with attacking military and infrastructure type targets. But messing with the Marines probably isn’t the wisest thing to do.
What I am curious of though is if the US would ever escalate to kinetic attacks on hacker group leaders. Earlier this month one of Iran’s cyber commanders was executed, presumably by Israeli forces.
Time will tell I guess…
As things continue to heat up in Syria and Obama waits to hear from congress as to whether or not to launch a missile strike, looks like the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has struck first. And what a target.
The SEA, known for website defacement and infiltrating social media and news sites, apparently have set their sites quite a bit higher. Yesterday they temporarily redirected the US Marine recruiting website Marines.com to one that contained the message in the image above.
The webpage contained images of people in (most likely bogus) American uniforms holding up signs saying that they would not fight for Al-Qaeda in Syria.
A lot about this doesn’t sit very well with me.
First up, and to clear the air, no it wasn’t the official US Marines military site (marines.mil) that was redirected. Marines.com is a recruiting site owned by the marketing company J Walter Thompson. And the site was only redirected for a short period of time.
Secondly, the SEA had to have the mugshots of those bogus American Syrian Army supporters before they redirected the page.
Quite a coincidence, unless…
Russia is involved.
Remember Russia is backing the Syrian government and does not want America there. How hard would it be for them to work with the SEA and create a little Psy-Ops propaganda?
Russia has a very capable cyber team and if they were not involved with this little fiasco, chances are they will be if America directly attacks Syria.
But no matter how you slice it, messing with US military sites (especially the Marines!) is a whole different ballpark than just hacking newspaper sites. Expect America cyber teams to respond, if they aren’t all ready.
And I doubt they will respond with web defacements and redirections…