The Syrian Electronic Army: Amateurs or Assad PR arm?

Explainer article on the Syrian Electronic Army, written for The Week

AN OUTFIT calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army is hacking some of the world’s biggest media websites, causing disruption and confusion this week at Twitter, the New York Times and the Huffington Post. The group’s latest assault follows similar cyber attacks earlier this year on the Financial Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the BBC.

The latest attacks began on Tuesday when users of the microblogging site Twitter logged on to find the website’s usual home page replaced by this jumble of metadata. The online edition of the New York Times was next, reports Fox News. The NYT attack forced editors to set up alternative websites to publish stories on the unfolding crisis in Syria. One of these sites carried an article which admitted the paper’s main site had been the victim of a “malicious external attack”.

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