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Thursday morning, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) briefly hacked into the websites of The Washington Post, Time magazine, and CNN, redirecting some visitors to the SEA home page.
According to The Washington Post, the Syrian Electronic Army is believed to be a small group of college-age supporters of Syrian President Basher al-Assad. It is unclear whether the SEA is directly affiliated with the Syrian government.
The group also claimed responsibility for an earlier attack this year on The Associated Press’ Twitter account. The SEA used the compromised Twitter account to falsely report an explosion in the White House, which sent the Dow Jones industrial average plunging 100 points within minutes.
Security experts worry the SEA might use these techniques not merely to alter website content, but also to distribute malware.
Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos, told BBC, “In this case it may only be sending you to the Syrian Electronic Army’s website but it could also be used to install viruses or copy cookies to try and later impersonate a visitor.”
By Thursday afternoon, the issue seemed to be identified and remedied.