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Syrian Electronic Army Continues Hacking Spree With Washington Post


“We want to see the world the truth about what is happening in Syria."

NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) -- Just two days ago the Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for hacking social media accounts affiliated with the New York Post and a Washington Post columnist, it struck the Post again in a bigger way Thursday.

A digital screen in the lobby of the Washington Post building shows the newspapers website, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Washington. The Post's website was hacked through a phishing scheme by the Syrian Electronic Army Thursday, August 15. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

The group that supports Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime claimed responsibility for hacking the Washington Post's website.

Washington Post Managing Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz said in a statement that for about 30 minutes Thursday morning, readers of some Washington Post stories were redirected to the website of the Syrian Electronic Army.

The SEA has taken credit for a string of Web attacks on media targets that it sees as sympathetic to Syria's rebels. Among the targets the group claims to have hacked are Twitter feeds of The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera English and the BBC.

syrian electronic army A Syrian protester shout slogans as she holds a banner that reads in Arabic, "The electronic Syrian army," during a demonstration to show her support for the Syrian President in front of the Syrian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, June 24, 2011. (Photo: AP/Bilal Hussein)

Garcia-Ruiz said the hacking incident came a few days after a phishing attack which tried to obtain password information. As a result of the attack, purportedly orchestrated by the SEA, a personal email account of one of the newspaper's staff writers was used to send out an SEA message, he said.

Garcia-Ruiz said the SEA claimed in a Twitter message that it gained access to parts of the newspaper's website by hacking one of its business partners, Outbrain, an Internet company that alerts readers of blogs and media sites to recommended links targeted to their specific interests.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/Official_SEA16/status/368038668709019648"]

Outbrain is used by other media outlets like Time, Reuters, Rolling Stone and US Weekly, according to the Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast reported having an interview earlier this week with one of the hackers claiming to lead the group:

The hacker said his group’s main goal “has become known to all.

“We want to see the world the truth about what is happening in Syria,” the hacker said. When asked what that “truth” is, the person stated: “There is no revolution in Syria, but terrorist groups killing people accusing Syrian Arab Army.”


In the interview, “SEA the Shadow” says the group isn’t connected to Assad, but rather, is made up primarily of nine college students, all of whom are living in Syria (back in March, a leader of the group reportedly stated there were just four). The hacker says they aren’t being paid a dollar by the regime. The college-age hackers didn’t know each other before the crisis began back in early 2011, but have since met up in real life, and now coordinate their attacks both online and off.

Outbrain tweeted on Thursday that its website was shut down as a result of this latest a cyberattack.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/Outbrain/status/368044125536272386"]

The Washington Post explains in further detail how its own hack went down in a separate article.

The Post said it has "taken defensive measures," which include the removal of the module affected by the hacking. The company said it doesn't believe there are any other issues affecting the website.

The Post made headlines earlier this month when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he was purchasing the newspaper and its affiliated entities.

Washington Post Co. shares fell $11.53, or 2 percent, to $572.20 in afternoon trading.



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