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Syrian Electronic Army Hijacks Guardian Twitter Feeds

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the perhaps-they-need-a-guard dept.

The Media 42

judgecorp writes "The Syrian Electronic Army has hijacked various Twitter accounts belonging to the Guardian newspaper. Guardian journalists report that the pro-Assad hacking group used a campaign of spear phishing to seize various of its feeds, following success hacking other media outlets including CBS."

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42 comments

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The Best (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43589901)

The Syrian Electronic Army are the greatest hacking minds in the world! These guys are elite. It's like we're living in Neuromancer or something! Soon they'll be posting ASCII penises to mid-sized news outlets and the imperialist West will tremble.

Re:The Best (2, Insightful)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590241)

You are assuming this really was the Syrian army. I'm sure the NSA would have no difficulty running this as a false flag operation, they could intercept the passwords or use their access to twitter management to do this easily. It certainly makes the media want to champion the cause of military intervention.

Re:The Best (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590305)

User: GuardianLTD
Password: 123password

Yeah, it takes high caliber NSA types to "hack" into most systems.

Re:The Best (3, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590761)

User: GuardianLTD
Password: 123password

It's the Grauniad. It was more likely to be '123passwrod' [sic].

Re:The Best (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590429)

Ms Hillary sold a lot of weaponry during her tour as Secretary of State. Now we have to sell the war to make sure those weapons get used up. That's how you create a market.

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43590847)

Don't expect a war until the next election and then only if a Republican gets in the White House. Look at history -- in the last fifty years, no Democrat President has started a war, and no Republican President has failed to start a war.

If you like war, vote Republican.

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43591331)

Didn't Bill Clinton start something in the former Yugoslavia, back in 96 or thereabouts?

Re:The Best (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43592171)

In 1964, Democrat LBJ ran on a "no war" platform and smeared Republican Barry Goldwater as a crazed war-monger. LBJ won. I ended up in the infantry running patrols around Chu Lai.

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43592355)

Welcome home; glad you made it. Sorry we sent you into that madness.

Consider this your ticker-tape parade.

Signed,

A Hippie who Didn't Assault US Troopers Returning from VN

Re:The Best (1)

odigity (266563) | about a year and a half ago | (#43595015)

I hate when people say "we" when referring to the actions of the government that claims ownership of them.

Stop that. You didn't personally send anyone to kill/die, and it sounds like you were against it, too.

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43590607)

Holy crap, not everything is a false flag. Unless you're crazy.

This isn't that difficult an operation - for any level of technical ability.

Re:The Best (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43591027)

What?!? That's crazy talk! CLEARLY it was the syrian army:

1. Hack the guardian twitter
2. Post false stuff there and gather other twitter accounts
3. ????
4. THE REBELLION SURRENDERS!!!

(/s) In all honesty, a false flag makes sense to me, while I can't see a real motive for the actual Syrian Army to do this.

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43593151)

What?!? That's crazy talk! CLEARLY it was the syrian army:

1. Hack the guardian twitter

2. Post false stuff there and gather other twitter accounts

3. ????

4. THE REBELLION SURRENDERS!!!

(/s) In all honesty, a false flag makes sense to me, while I can't see a real motive for the actual Syrian Army to do this.

It could be a false flag... or it could be that the Syrian Electronic Army has absolutely fuck all to do with any real military or government force in Syria and is just a 'cool sounding' name that a bunch of wannabe hackers gave themselves?

Re:The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43592617)

You do realize that 'The Syrian Electronic Army' is just the name of the hacker group, they are not officially affiliated with the Syrian government in any way

Re:The Best (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43592793)

Colossus links to Guardian.

Forbin expresses privacy concerns.

They wouldn't dare (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43589933)

Its the big redline. I'm coming Wheezy.

Re:They wouldn't dare (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590125)

I have drawn a red line. Do not cross it or I shall draw another.

objective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43589983)

They've also hacked NPR, BBC, and other news outlets. They simply state "we were here," but I'm not sure how to interpret that message. I don't think they're the ones who hacked AP twitter to announce the white house bombings. But other than that, are we supposed to fear them? Be embarrassed at our news outlet's lack of security? Praise their tech savvy? A warning to stay out of their politics because it's their internal issue (much like China)?

The weakest link (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590055)

Isn't it funny that no matter what you do to secure your computer usage, the weakest link is always the ID10T sitting between the chair and keyboard. You can talk about "cyber warfare" all you want, but in reality, it all comes down to P.T. Barnum tricks.

Re:The weakest link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43590173)

True but it's not part of their job description to worry whether the email is infected or not. They have to follow leads that come through the email. Sales people are also a common attack vector, because it sucks to lose a potential client.

But for the reporters and writers, they would pick your grammar apart and make some snarky comment about your/you're proper usage because that's what they do for a living. Improper usage of language is not as big of a deal as being hacked, but it does dent their reputation.

It's the Guardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43590071)

No-one would notice the difference

Re:It's the Guardian (4, Funny)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590109)

No-one would notice the difference

The tweets were spelt correctly.

Re:It's the Guardian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43591721)

The tweets were spelt correctly

The tweets weren't wheaty, they were spelled correctly. Do you work for the Grauniad?

Re:It's the Guardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43592013)

Definition of SPELT

chiefly British past and past participle of spell

Re:It's the Guardian (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43595855)

Whoever smelt it dealt it. Which wood be yew.

I have an idea (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590129)

Maybe if they're going to hire a person to run an entire corporation's Twitter account, they should know basic internet security. They damn well better fire that idiot.

oh em gee (2)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590361)

They are so 31337, haxing up twitter accounts and all! They probably chill on dalnet.

Sirian Freedom Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43590467)

War makes wealth for the few, misery for the many. Dirac Angestun Gesept will punish the former, bring aid and comfort to the latter.

Because twitter. (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590573)

Hacking a twitter account seems to present all the difficulty of cutting a silk gown with a chainsaw, or shoving a battering ram through a spider web. As an added bonus, their little "Verified" badge makes people who read the pretenders' tweets think they are that much more accurate all the while.

Something is clearly very wrong with security there; I guess we will MySQL [wikipedia.org] never know.

Re:Because twitter. (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590639)

Something is clearly very wrong with security there

They have users who can be so easily tricked with false information.

"Hacking"? (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43590679)

Most corporate social media sites are the domain of the marketing department. Am I the only one who thinks there isn't much hacking involved?

Username -- BigCorpTwitter
Password -- password1

If I were a company's IT department, I would make sure the marketing people were using a 40 character complex passphrase. Unfortunately there's no way to enforce it, and making it complex means that it'll be written under the keyboard of the Associate Twitter Specialist who has to write all the "spontaneous, off-the-cuff, edgy Web 2.0" marketing messages every day.

Re:"Hacking"? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43591007)

Perhaps Twitter needs to give corporate customers the option of additional security tools, like one of those changing-numbers keychain thingies or at least an 'allow login from this IP only' setting.

Re:"Hacking"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43592403)

Sure you can enforce it: the IT personnel ASSIGN the password and it is up to the user to LEARN it. Make it 20 characters long, mixed case, including numbers and special characters.

Users will hate you, I hear you say? They hate you ANYway, so that is just more of what comes with the territory.

Yours,

Sys Admin since VAX/VMS 4.4

Re:"Hacking"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43592629)

You are assuming that the twitter account is under the control of IT...

Re:"Hacking"? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#43598007)

Most corporate social media sites are the domain of the marketing department. Am I the only one who thinks there isn't much hacking involved?

Username -- BigCorpTwitter
Password -- password1

Plus the password would have been emailed to all and sundry because the Media unit thinks everyone needs access and the IT department will automatically protect them from anything computer.

Seriously, I had to explain to a media consultant why we couldn't "just email" a 40 MB video clip to 248 people yesterday. They are retards.

you fLail it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43591173)

play parties the the wind apeared and as BSD sinks uncover a story of though, I have to bureaucratic and

I don't care (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#43593273)

I'm quietly rooting for the Assads.

The reason is that while both sides of that squalid little war are a bunch of murderers, the Syrian government are the good guys. They are secular, non-sectarian, believe in women's rights and the rights of minorities.

The other guys are a bunch of terrorists with big filthy dirty beards, who take money from Wahhabi extremists in the Gulf states, and would rape and/or cut the throats of anybody who does not live up to the utterly extreme brand of conservative Islam.

They're both fighting like animals. The secularists are fighting like animals because their lives depend on it. The other side are fighting like animals because of their religious fervour and political ideals -- they ARE animals. Our enemies are Al Qaeda, the EXACT same monsters Assad is fighting in Syria.

Frankly, I think we're backing the wrong horse. I think that nerve gas and cluster bombs is too good for the dirty bearded terrorists they're fighting, and we should be thanking Assad and kissing his arse for taking out this Wahhabi trash for us.

Why are we backing the terrorists in this war? Because a bunch of undereducated, illiterate idiots in the "Arab street" root for the terrorists? Fuck the Arab Street, let's not bow to cheap populism, and just do what's right for a change.

Re:I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43597959)

I'm quietly rooting for the Assads.

The reason is that while both sides of that squalid little war are a bunch of murderers, the Syrian government are the good guys. They are secular, non-sectarian, believe in women's rights and the rights of minorities.

You got it wrong. The "good guys" are the ones who will follow whatever the US wants them to do, including brutally murdering their own people. The "bad guys" are the those who won't.

There are plenty of examples in the past of the US overthrowing democratically elected, relatively civilized government, and replacing them with brutal despotic dictator who are willing to do whatever is in the interest of the US.

Re:I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622969)

I fully agree with this!

Actually, neither side is good, but the Assads are not 'secular'. Yeah, it's true that the Baath party promotes a non-Islamic agenda, but there is a reason for that. In any Islamic country, the definition of 'Islamic' is whoever is the majority Islamic sect. Therefore, while Islamic means Shia in Iran or Iraq or Bahrein or Azerbaijan, it means Sunni in other places, like Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and so on.

That has major implications for not just non-Muslims, such as Copts in Egypt, Maronites in Lebanon, Melkites & Assyrians in Syria & Iraq - it also has major implications for minority Muslim sects in any Muslim country. After all, Muslims don't believe in 'Live & let live'. Give them power, and they believe in repressing the others. Deprive them of power, and they'll either be whiners and terrorists, like they are in Israel, Russia, India, Thailand, Ethiopia and the rest of the non Muslim world, or they'll be oppressed minorities in the Muslim world, either in places like Syria, or in really secular authoritarian countries like Uzbekistan.

This is where the Baath party came in. It's main purpose was to provide an alternate route for the minority Muslim communities - be it Sunnis in Saddam's Iraq or Shia & Alawite in Assad's Syria - to come to power. It harped on Arab nationalism without the Islam (even though the latter hardly exists in the absense of the former) as well as socialism or nazism, and used those as tools to unite the minority groups in the country. As a result, in Iraq, Christians rallied behind Saddam since they knew that he'd keep them safe from the Sunnis, while in Syria, Christians rallied behind Assad since they knew that the Alawites would keep them safe from the Sunnis. Note that none of this was a genuine attempt to promote religious pluralism, and that beneath it all, both the Saddams and the Assads were big believers and supporters of Jihad, just their right Jihad. Saddam was happy to support Sunni groups like Hamas, while Assad was happy to support Shia groups like Hizbullah. So neither of them were/are secular.

Therefore, the best thing to happen in the region is intra-Muslim civil war (known in Islamic tradition as taqfir - muslims killing other muslims for not following Islam properly). Let them battle it out over which is the true Islam, and kill each other. The only thing Infidels should be doing should be to encourage both sides to keep at it forever, so that there are fewer Jihadis left to unleash terror attacks in Boston, Jerusalem, Kashmir, Yala (Thailand), Mindanao and so on. To that end, get Sunni fighters from al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Emirates and so on pour into Syria to join the Sunni rebels. In the meantime, to counterbalance all that, have Hizbullah, the Mahdi Army, Iran's Basij and other supportive forces pour into Syria to support the Assads. Keep supplying them until there are fewer & fewer Jihadis left in their own countries. In the meantime, hopefully, people in the West should note all these trends within Islam and not try to fix it, but just isolate it by reducing (and ultimately ending) Muslim immigration, and preferably, deporting all Muslims back to the lands of dar ul Islam.

Method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43593303)

I'm pretty sure the method they used involved editing a hostfile...

Nobody Noticed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43594269)

Just more inane ramblings by different people that have lost their minds.

legitimate military targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43597387)

If the Syrian government has declared war, then the propaganda outlets of the opposing force are legitimate military targets.

Contemporary warfare does not begin and end with bombs and bullets. Manipulation of information and misinformation can generate strategically important effects that cannot be duplicated through the application of kinetic energy.

Modern communication technology multiplies the effectiveness of such psychological operations by broadcasting it to an audience of unprecedented numbers.

What the Syrians are doing in the name of sculpting the information battlefield is rather tame compared to what happened during the 2nd US invasion of Iraq. Several hospitals were bombed so they would stop sending obituary information to the newspapers.

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