A number of global media websites, including CNBC News and the New York Daily News have been hacked by an organization calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army. Attempts to load pages from such sites met with a statement that simply said, “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)”.
That declaration comes with the logo of the organization, an Eagle – the state symbol of Syria – holding a Syrian flag.
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Dell, Microsoft, Ferrari, Unicef , Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Telegraph and Italy’s La Repubblica were all hit by the hackers.
“A part of our website run by a third-party was compromised earlier today, ” the Telegraph said on its official Twitter feed. “We’ve removed the component. No Telegraph user data was affected.”
The SEA Tweeted, “Happy thanks giving, hope you didn’t miss us. The Press: Please don’t pretend #ISIS are civilians. #SEA.”
Ernest Hilbert, managing director of cybercrime at investigations firm Kroll, and former FBI agent, told CNBC, “It is PR move to show they have the skills, but what they are doing is not dramatically sophisticated. This is a defacement of a website and they redirected traffic from the real site to a site with their stuff on it instead.”
It is not clear who exactly is behind the Syrian Electronic Army nor which side they are on in the Syrian civil war. Their website states that it was begun, “when the Arab and Western media started their bias in favor of terrorist groups that have killed civilians, the Syrian Arab Army and have destroyed private and public property.”