12:04 PM

Who Is Syrian Electronic Army: 9 Facts

Syrian hackers claim to battle American imperialism, media bias and Angelina Jolie.
5 of 9

The Syrian Electronic Army has more than passing ties to Assad. Although the Syrian leader trained in Britain as an eye doctor, in the 1990s he headed Syria's Computer Society -- pushing for better computer education for the country's children -- before succeeding his father as president of the country in 2000. Interestingly, the Syrian Electronic Army's first domain name "was registered by the Syrian Computer Society," Helmi Noman, a senior researcher at the Citizen Lab at Toronto University, told CNN.

In addition, the domain is "hosted on the network of the Syrian government, which is interesting because it's the first time we've seen a group with questionable activities being hosted on a national computer network," he said, though he also noted that it's not proof that the hackers are government-funded.

A recent Guardian report, however, said the Syrian Electronic Army is bankrolled by Assad's billionaire cousin Rami Makhlouf, and that the group recently relocated from Syria to Dubai. "Makhlouf pays the pro-regime hackers for their activities, and they typically earn $500-$1,000 for a successful attack," according to the Guardian. "They also get free accommodation and food. Sometimes Syrian government officials tell the SEA which western sites to hack; on other occasions the SEA selects its own targets."

In response to that report, the Syrian Electronic Army seized more than 11 Guardian Twitter feeds, using them to decry the British paper's "lies and slander about Syria."

A pro-Assad media outlet likewise dismissed the paper's reporting. "Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates, some 3,000 kilometers away from Damascus, but sitting in London thinking how to amuse the readers with fancy tales, our best guess is the authors, especially Mr. Harding, thought Dubai is somewhere in Syria, or Damascus is somewhere near Dubai."

Photograph courtesy of Flickr user woodleywonderworks .


Anonymous OpUSA Hackathon: Mostly Bluster

Twitter Battles Syrian Hackers

Twitter Preps Two Factor Authentication After AP Hoax

How Syrian Electronic Army Unpeeled The Onion

Syrian Hacktivists Hit Guardian Twitter Feeds

Syria Back Online After Internet Blackout

5 of 9
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
E-Commerce Security: What Every Enterprise Needs to Know
The mainstream use of EMV smartcards in the US has experts predicting an increase in online fraud. Organizations will need to look at new tools and processes for building better breach detection and response capabilities.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio