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How the Syrian Electronic Army Hacked The Onion

timothy posted about a year ago | from the wore-goggles-so's-not-to-cry dept.

Security 91

Nerval's Lobster writes "For comedy publication The Onion, a recent cyber-attack by the Syrian Electronic Army was no laughing matter. The SEA managed to compromise The Onion's Twitter account, plastering it with insults aimed at the United Nations, Israel, and Syrian rebels. 'UN retracts report of Syrian chemical weapon use: "Lab tests confirm it is Jihadi body odor,"' read a typical (and perhaps one of the more printable) ones. When the Tweets appeared, some Onion Twitter-followers questioned whether the newspaper was playing some sort of elaborate meta-joke, perhaps riffing on a recent series of high-profile cyber attacks. But the SEA was serious, and so was The Onion about flushing the attackers from its systems. In a new posting on theonion.github.io, the publication's IT crew details exactly what happened. On May 3, attackers from the SEA fired off phishing emails to Onion employees, at least one of whom clicked on a malicious link. From there, the attackers compromised a handful of systems. 'In total, the attacker compromised at least 5 accounts,' the account concluded. 'The attacker logged in to compromised accounts from 46.17.103.125 which is also where the SEA hosts a website.' But following the crisis, The Onion couldn't resist swiping at its attackers. 'Syrian Electronic Army Has a Little Fun Before Inevitable Upcoming Deaths at Hands of Rebels,' read the headline for a May 6 article that described a fictional massacre of the SEA in gruesome detail."

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91 comments

I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (1)

s1d3track3D (1504503) | about a year ago | (#43679939)

Why would they target the Onion!? Do they not 'get it'?

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (1, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43679985)

No, they really didn't think it through. Like all script kiddies, they do it because getting metasploit and/or hanging around irc channels for weeks means you eventually use someone elses work to temporarily control a twitter account, take shit there and make yourself look like something of a tool, and then lose control of the account. I guess some people are born to die virgins.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680281)

My cock hole smooched the deepest reaches of your rancid rectum, and to celebrate, my cock's little white tadpole friends partied down in your ass all night! That was truly an engagement party for the ages! Furthermore, you gave me the gift of cum-covered feces to celebrate the occasion! What say you?

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (3, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43680415)

Boy the Onion writers are just phoning it in now.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680839)

I guess some people are born to die virgins.

I count you among them. Whoever did this is on the same level as Mitnick. This was a very entertaining piece of social engineering.

Workers at Teh Oignon gave out their google creds? ROTFFLMFAO, they deserved to get pwnd with idiots like that on their staff.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680015)

Because you're another cunt American who thinks that the struggles and deaths of others is entertainment but when one of yours is killed there is hell to pay.
 
People are dying today, like them or not, and The Onion is making a mockery of it.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680135)

Oh, okay then. Put your money where your mouth is- what are you doing about it?

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680275)

Put your money where your mouth is? I don't think you understand what is being said here. As far as what someone is doing about it? Maybe showing a little respect for all life instead of just American life? That's my guess.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680373)

I understand what is being said. As far as the Onion making a mockery of life, they mock absolutely everything within grasp, to criticize them for mocking anything at all is criticizing the sky for being blue.

You can pretend that you're practicing superior morals over some country full of evil, know-nothing jerks, but when it comes down to it both you and I have done absolutely nothing about this conflict, and actions count for everything whereas talk counts for nothing. Which is to say, you're full of it unless you can tell me what you're doing to help stop the violence.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680681)

Actions do not count for everything. In fact, bad actions are the biggest part of the problem here.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680751)

a)Bad actions are, in fact, actions, and if they are part of the problem they count negatively. However, merely saying something is not an action.
b)If you're going to get on a moral high horse and generalize over the space of an entire nation, pretty much the only way I could ever take you seriously is through your actions. So yes, in this instance, actions count for everything.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682907)

Actions do not count for everything.

Yes they do.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682159)

Because you're another cunt American who thinks that the struggles and deaths of others is entertainment but when one of yours is killed there is hell to pay.

Actually that's pretty common across humans in general, people tend to have empathy for those they know directly, or feel they know by some proxy such as social group, company, sports team, nationality, ethnicity, sex, etc. There's several billion too many people on this planet, and when space fills up they start killing each other. If I spent my time crying over every horrible death and heart wrenching tragedy I'd do nothing but huddle in the corner nonstop. That's not living, that's severe clinical depression.

People are dying today, like them or not, and The Onion is making a mockery of it.

Laughing is one of the natural human reactions which allows us to not end up in that corner. (So is anger and hate, my young Apprentice)

twisted "humor"(?) (1, Interesting)

sanman2 (928866) | about a year ago | (#43680299)

Actually, the Onion's "joke" article on the rebels massacring the SEA sounded a little disturbingly vindictive and twisted. Who knows if some real life fanatics won't take inspiration from that "joke"(?) article to make it happen in real life. How would the Onion look then?

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (5, Funny)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about a year ago | (#43680347)

How would the Onion look then?

Prescient?

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680451)

Or like they helped instead of feigning neutrality like western real reporters do, as if people who rely on freedom for their job so they aren't executed could be neutral in two sides, one of whom would indeed execute those "neutral" reporters.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680801)

[Shrug] I thought The Onion article about GW Bush's newly-inaugurated presidency [theonion.com] was disturbingly vindictive and twisted too. It turned out not to be funny at all.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681073)

ffs, what the Onion writes aren't articles in any sense. Articles require a modicum of truth.

The onion is a piss poor lampoon site..their stuff is as funny as being waterborded.

Most of their stuff isn't funny.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43680865)

honestly I dont see a problem if someone did take the joke and go after the rebels. By definition they are rebels! they should be stopped! What is with this PC world these days? They bomb their own country, yet you are worried if someone is gonna go after them?

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43683153)

honestly I dont see a problem if someone did take the joke and go after the rebels

Um, it would be the rebels executing the government supporters, in fact.

The hacking was done by pro-government Syrians.

I hope I'm not the only person who finds the idea of a "joke" about people being horribly murdered by rebels who we in the West are supporting somewhat disturbing.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about a year ago | (#43684791)

The post you are talking about was made by the staff in an intentional effort to be inflammatory in order to induce the hackers to post more content and (hopefully) reveal information that could be used to stop them.

That's in contrast to the normal day-to-day inflammatory crap they post in an attempt to be funny. - so I can see how you could get confused...

(wow... i would not have guessed when I woke up this morning that I'd be posting on slashdot in support of the staff of The Onion... what a weird day)

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#43683205)

By definition they are rebels! they should be stopped!

I dunno, it seems like they have good reasons [wikipedia.org] to be pissed off.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43685331)

I am sure they do. I however dont want to be involved. its not our war, let them settle it on their own.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#43686667)

I however dont want to be involved. its not our war, let them settle it on their own.

Your previous post not only took sides, but also said that "they should be stopped". And now you're backpedaling and saying "we" shouldn't get involved. Are you perhaps an (underperforming) member of Syrian Electronic Army?

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43694731)

no, i didnt say we have to stop them, I said they need to be stopped (from their governments point of view - the liberal use of ! should have been a give away - my bad)
frankly as an american, im sick of america playing world police, let them do what they do, if they kill each other, so be it, this goes for any country. Sounds heartless but plain and simple we cant afford it

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (2)

ThePeices (635180) | about a year ago | (#43681439)

How would the Onion look then?

Smugly pleased.

Re:twisted "humor"(?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682459)

Well, then you know what they say about broken clocks. They're right once in a while.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680317)

Why would they target the Onion!? Do they not 'get it'?

Chances are, no, they seriously don't get it.

Think about it: In that area of the world, news is generally controlled by official government channels. I'm talking supposedly-legitimate sources which unironically use definitive, unambiguous phrases like "The Truth Of $NATION", "$NATION's One Voice", or The Onion's own "$NATION's Finest News Source" as their taglines. Then, add in the fact that a lot of what The Onion and other humor sources (i.e. The Daily Show) do are largely unheard of in these nations; direct mockery of the government is the sort of thing that gets a guy and his whole family beheaded in public out there. They might plain and simply not be used to that manner of humor.

So, without the benefit of a culture that's accustomed to ironic sarcasm and mocking tones in print, combined with a lack of knowledge of how the US really works, and definitely without understanding the counter-cultural significance of The Onion in the first place, I can imagine them looking at this site which boldly proclaims itself to be "America's Finest News Source", presenting articles in a very dry, almost authoritative tone (to people unfamiliar with the English language or American culture), and seemingly chock full of news, and assuming this is a real thing and that attacking it will help get their message out to the important, news-reading people of what they consider to be the most powerful nation in the world.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (5, Insightful)

jfruh (300774) | about a year ago | (#43681145)

This is wildly incorrect. You could tell form their posts that the Syrians knew exactly what the Onion was and were actually writing Onion-style headlines to promote their point of view. "UN admonishes Syria for getting in way of Jewish missles," that sort of thing.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (4, Insightful)

Alex Kasa (2867743) | about a year ago | (#43681403)

While I get your point, and agree with you, you seem to have a wildly inaccurate view of what life in Syria was before the civil war. While you would not necessarily stand in the central square of Damascus and shout insults to the regime, you could still express your political opinions freely. Not all the media was state-controlled. Before the revolution, access to the internet was open and not censored.

Middle-East != North Korea

You and your family would not get beheaded in public under Assad for talking against the regime. It is quite ironic that Assad was actually quite a progressive leader compared to the US allies in the region (USA's Best Friends Forever Saudi Royal Family and Mubarak). While my whole heart goes to anyone seeking true democracy, a lot of the reason why Syria is in such a mess is because Assad is an Iranian ally supporting Hezbollah, and Israel and the West want that support for Hezbollah and Iran to go.

Of course now Assad has crossed the line and there is only one way this will stop, he must go one way or the other. Only thing US and Israel didn't seem to calculate at first is that what's going to come after him is much, much less friendly. They're just starting to realize that now. As one commentator put it, "The Muslim Brotherhood leadership is waiting in hotels in Turkey, ready to take the reins once Assad is gone". Once again, we've played a role in overthrowing a secular regime and replacing it with an Islamist one. We're getting good at this.

However you are right that many middle-easterners "don't get" western humor. Some see things like that and believe it is serious. Also, while here in the west you can openly joke about religion and God (even Christianity), they would not think those kind of things are funny. As usual, we say we're right and they're wrong. Truth is it's just a cultural difference and cultures are bound to clash in an open world with an open internet. It's not just between Westerners and Middle-Easterners though. I'm sure Chinese people look at American shows and think "WTF is honey boo boo? Jersey shore? USA dogs!"

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682229)

While I get your point, and agree with you, you seem to have a wildly inaccurate view of what life in Syria was before the civil war. While you would not necessarily stand in the central square of Damascus and shout insults to the regime, you could still express your political opinions freely.

This started out as protests that where that was exactly what happened. People got out, complained, and were executed on the spot. How you can reconcile that with "express your political opinions freely" is truly beyond me.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43687547)

People get upset about Westboro Baptist. I wonder how much they would enjoy being a Coptic Christian right now.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680377)

I assumed is was standard onion fair.

10 points for their response though, that was great.

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43681065)

Why would they target the Onion!? Do they not 'get it'?

The tyrant fears the laugh more than the assassin's bullet. -- Robert Heinlein

Re:I read the Onion, I thought it was a joke (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | about a year ago | (#43685045)

You're misunderstanding the motivations of the SEA and other small activist groups. These groups are in part motivated by what they feel is a lack of sufficient attention to their cause. They want attention drawn to them, and given their initial low profile, any attention is good. The Onion is a very high profile website. Hacking the Onion gave them the widespread publicity they so crave. Think of it, now people who read Slashdot know who the SEA are.

Related Article (2)

Krazy Kanuck (1612777) | about a year ago | (#43679955)

In related Onion news: We Were Going To Take Over The ‘Onion’ Website, But It’s A Real Mess With All Those Ads [theonion.com] I'm not sure what the SEA really expected to accomplish here.

Re:Related Article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680027)

In related Onion news: We Were Going To Take Over The ‘Onion’ Website, But It’s A Real Mess With All Those Ads [theonion.com]

I'm not sure what the SEA really expected to accomplish here.

The funny part is that if the Onion had just remained silent on this subject people would still be wondering whether they had actually been hacked or whether this is simply gigantic practical joke.

Re:Related Article (2)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#43681903)

The funny part is that if the Onion had just remained silent on this subject people would still be wondering whether they had actually been hacked or whether this is simply gigantic practical joke.

Are you really sure it isn't?

Re:Related Article (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about a year ago | (#43682647)

Well....No. Which is kind of why I love the Onion to begin with.

Re:Related Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680059)

It seems calculated to enrage the viewer, like the so cash copypasta. Almost a parody.

Re:Related Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680521)

well +100 for the onion, they took a hack and made a joke about themselves and the hackers, so fucking funny.

Re:Related Article (4, Funny)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#43680551)

My favorite response was Onion Twitter Password Changed To OnionMan77 [theonion.com] ('That Ought To Do It,' Company Sources Confirm). Your link wasn't bad either, though. I love The Onion.

The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43679973)

This is where Google's single-signon approach backfires. The attack obtained login credentials for employee email accounts. Those credentials allowed them to do much more than access personal email - they could access other Google-hosted assets.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (3, Informative)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about a year ago | (#43680247)

Google does have two-factor authentication [mattcutts.com] , but they don't require all users to use it yet.

most two-factor authentication schemes i've seen so far require users to have either a physical dongle that provides keycodes, a mobile phone capable of receiving SMS messages, or a smartphone app.

most users i've seen can't be bothered to take this "inconvenient" step to secure their accounts. i hope Google makes the two-factor login a requirement soon, but they're going to get some pretty tough pushback from the lazy.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

slashdyke (873156) | about a year ago | (#43680357)

I have not taken this "inconvenient" step to secure my account, simply because I a) do not have a physical dongle, b) do not have a mobile phone - not even one that does not receive SMS messages, and c) I also don't have a smart phone to install a smart phone app. Now, I also do not have a google account, and so long as slashdot.org is not absorbed by them, I should be safe.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680445)

I have not taken this "inconvenient" step to secure my account, simply because I a) do not have a physical dongle, b) do not have a mobile phone - not even one that does not receive SMS messages, and c) I also don't have a smart phone to install a smart phone app. Now, I also do not have a google account, and so long as slashdot.org is not absorbed by them, I should be safe.

Really? THAT'S your hole card in this game? "I've got a Slashdot account, so as long as that's not Google, I'm okay!"? Really? A Slashdot account?

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

TherilAlPenn (870249) | about a year ago | (#43680649)

I do have a google account and while I do have a cell phone capable of receiving SMS messages, I don't want to pay $0.20 every time I log into my email.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680797)

Then go educate yourself, because this is not how it works.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43680887)

its a 1 time setup unless something happens....

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (2)

g8oz (144003) | about a year ago | (#43680497)

Personally I just dont' want google to have my mobile phone number. They know too much already.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (2)

thygate (1590197) | about a year ago | (#43680603)

If any one of your contacts has your phone number with your gmail address in their phone as a single (or merged) contact, google already knows your mobile phone number.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680737)

I had NO spam calls ever, until Google AdSense required my phone number. The very next day I get a call from "Google" which was actually a fake company posing as Google, I didn't get to talk to customer service because they hung up during their strange menu system, but ever since then I've been getting a lot of calls pretending to be Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. If you call back the number, the first thing that they say usually is "To add your number to the DNC list, press any key now". I'm not saying it's Google, it might in fact be Aliens but I'm pretty sure it's Google. Giorgio Tsoukalos, what do you think of this?

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

markjhood2003 (779923) | about a year ago | (#43681305)

My wife says she gets phone calls all the time from people claiming to be Google, trying to sell her adwords for her business that she promotes from her blog. But it's hard to tell if they're really from Google or not... is Google really that aggressive and unpleasant to potential customers? They don't stop calling and apparently they use different phone numbers, so they are hard to block.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#43681911)

Personally I just dont' want google to have my mobile phone number. They know too much already.

Use the authenticator app, then, if you have a smartphone.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43684225)

Use the authenticator app, then, if you have a smartphone.

My friend, you have located that which rubs. I don't want to use my smartphone because something might happen to my smartphone, which oh yeah, is also my cellphone.

Until I can get a keyfob token for backup, I'm simply not going to switch on two-factor authentication. I hack my phone and even if you don't sometimes they fail. (Hey, let's be realistic, some of these alternate roms just asplode. The one I am using is based on the same version that came with my phone and there are still sometimes issues.)

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

tringstad (168599) | about a year ago | (#43680835)

...a mobile phone capable of receiving SMS messages...

I have yet to see an implementation of 2-factor authentication that uses this method; only poorly written articles by journalists who have misunderstood what they've read, and repetition of said articles by misinformed slashdot commenters.

Can you provide evidence of one that does?

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681075)

Really? Google [google.com] , my bank, and PayPal [paypal.com] all send me an SMS code to verify me (i.e. I log in with username/password, it either immediately texts me a code or has a button for texting me a code, then I receive an SMS with the code to type in to complete the authentication process). My bank and PayPal do it on every login. Google does it the first time I use a device (used to be every 30 days as well, but they seem to have stopped that).

I don't have an Android or iOS phone, but I do have an unlimited texting plan (hard to get a data plan without one), so that works great for me.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681109)

I know that Yahoo! uses SMS messages as part of their 2-factor authentication. Whenever I log on to my Yahoo! account from a new device they require me to enter a code, the code can either be sent to an alternate email address or to my phone. This is what you are talking about right?

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/yahoo-mail-introduces-two-factor-authentication/9846

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#43681927)

Google offers SMS messaging as one of the methods for second-factor auth.

"you'll be asked for a code that will be sent to you via text, voice call, or our mobile app." (http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=180744)

There are actually a couple of other options as well, including a code via e-mail and a hardcopy list of pre-assigned one-time-use code, though they're mostly intended for recovery, in case you lose access to your phone. And you can also provide a backup phone number.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#43680929)

most users i've seen can't be bothered to take this "inconvenient" step to secure their accounts

I wonder why you used the double quotes there. Are you suggesting it is not inconvenient?

Assume it's a dongle. Go check your mail at work, on the road, while in a completely different country - whoops, left the dongle in the car, at home, in the other set of pants.

Note that the above is even just the dongle - who uses just a dongle? You'll also need a password for the dongle, lest the attacker actually has your dongle which would make this pointless. No, not a password, a key card. Now where did you put that key card again?
( Thankfully you don't need a dongle to access the dongle. )

Okay, dongles are archaic, just use cellphones and SMS. What's that? You pay for incoming SMS and you have no credit? The battery's dead? You swapped out the SIM card because there's no way you're going to pay the international roaming costs while abroad? Or maybe you just let it in the car again, at home, or in the other pair of pants.

It's okay, you say, Google also offers a list of 10 one-time-use codes that you can use in case of that rare circumstance in which your phone is not available. Of course, you'll have to keep that list somewhere. On your pho.. oh, duh. Print it out and put it in your wallet? No, no.. bad idea. Oh! I know! Put it online at lastpass. Of course, you'd better not have hooked that up to Google Authenticator as you'd be going in circles.

Sure, there's a laziness factor involved as well - after all, most people will be ticking the box telling Google to 'remember' that computer for 30 days even if the do enable two-factor authentication because they don't want to enter the authentication code every. single. time. And, sure, there's more/better solutions for the potential problems which most people quite frankly won't even run into anyway (can always tell them to don't be so stupid as to forget (to charge) their cellphone etc.etc.).
But suggesting it's not inconvenient - be that as 'inconvenient' as having to whip out your cellphone and reading off a code or as 'inconvenient' as not having your phone on you and the list of 10 codes being nowhere to be found - won't help endear people to its use.

The only question people should ask themselves is whether this inconvenience is worse than the inconvenience, or even direct harm, that can potentially result from not using it.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#43681949)

Print it out and put it in your wallet? No, no.. bad idea.

No, that's a good idea, and exactly what you should do. Yes, it means that an attacker who manages to get your password and your wallet can get into your account, but that's still far more secure than a password alone. If your alternative is not using a second factor because you're afraid you won't have it when you need it, you're far better off using two factor and keeping the list of backup code list in your wallet.

Re:The trouble with using Google accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681157)

Why? Who needs two-factor for a garbage account that doesn't reuse a password from any other website? If Google forces two-factor, I'm out and going back to hotmail. Maybe even yahoo mail. However, we know they won't because as long as it's an option, those people who want it can have it and those people who don't need it, aren't required.

MicroSoft... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680047)

It wasn't social engineer, it was MicroSoft engineering. Honestly, people that use Windows
can expect these sorts of things, and there is absolutely nothing anyone in the world
can do to help them.

Very sad.

What we are seeing here (1, Flamebait)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43680051)

is that citizens of a once legitimate regime in Syria, fighting to get their story heard by the people of the world.

Ever wonder why the US and EU call the "Syrian" rebels "rebels", but the Mali rebels as "terrorists"? Why do we support the revolution of a sovereign country? Perhaps the revolution ISN'T for the good of the Syrian people, but good for the US, EU, and Israel?

Re:What we are seeing here (1)

el jocko del oeste (2450190) | about a year ago | (#43680111)

Assad: Legitimate Dictator of Syria.

Re:What we are seeing here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680277)

And the USA the legitimate oppressor of the world.

Re:What we are seeing here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680225)

Ever wonder why the US and EU call the "Syrian" rebels "rebels", but the Mali rebels as "terrorists"?

Because the legitimate regime in Syria is a long-time supporter of international terrorism?

Given that the pilot of Airwolf.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681519)

was set there back in... what 82-83, and had what's his name listed as leader then....

Also as I remember it, it was a sensitive mission, since they were 'technically' our friends.

Also 'technically' that helicopter didn't exist :)

Re:What we are seeing here (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year ago | (#43682275)

As opposed to al-Nusra rebels? You know, the guys who are blowing up car bombs in Damascus, killing primarily civilians? The ones whose officer corps consists largely of al-Qaeda appointees?

Re:What we are seeing here (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43683235)

There's been a few good articles on the topic including one just last week by the BBC, but Syria really is a cluster fuck.

The West (the US, Britain, France etc.) want to arm the Free Syrian Army because they believe part the reason al-Nusra has become so strong is that fighters joined it because it was the most succesful. Some elements of Western thinking believe that by arming, training and improving the FSA those fighters that are not inherently supportive of the Jihadis goals but joined them because there was the least chance of dying with them due to their success up to that point will switch to the FSA should it become the new elite fighting force against the Assad regime.

I can't be arsed to Google for all the relevant sources now (I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader) but I also recall reading that there was a decent amount of prior evidence that Assad had even supported to at least some degree the same Sunni Al-Qaeda affiliated militants that are now trying to overthrow him as part of the al-Nusra front when it suited Assad as a proxy for attacking coalition forces in Iraq so it's certainly a bitter irony if they're now using the weapons and training he gave them against him.

Other interesting factors are that Hamas is supporting and fighting with the rebels against Hezbollah and Iran's Quds forces which is supporting the regime despite these groups all previously having put aside their religious differences to maintain close ties in their front against Israel. Israel has been providing a field hospital in the Golan Heights treating wounded anti-Assad rebels, taking the worst injured ones into Israel proper for hospital treatment, and yes, this means that potentially Israel is giving medical aid to Hamas fighters fighting against Assad.

The whole thing is both a clusterfuck and a mindfuck, but there's a certain irony in the fact that for decades Syria has used militants such as Hezbollah to carry out a proxy war against Israel and now finds itself being host to one of the most widespread proxy battles in the region with vested interests from Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, Hamas, the West, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel all throwing their bit in.

If it wasn't all so tragic I'd argue there's a certain bitter-sweet sense of justice in that - if you meddle by proxy, don't be too surprised when the opportunity arises you become host to a proxy battle yourself - this is something the US has been given a lesson in in the last decade as various cold war proxy battles it waged (such as in Afghanistan vs. the Russians) had come back to bite it in the form of 9/11 and such.

Peace has come to Zimbawe (5, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43680581)

Perhaps the revolution ISN'T for the good of the Syrian people, but good for the US, EU, and Israel?

There's no reason it can't be both, there's also no reason to mod your factual observations as "flamebait". We are going to have to wait a decade or more to find out if the "Arab spring" changed anything for the better, I clearly recall people (as opposed to governments) in the west celebrating because Mugabe had come to power in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Stevie Wonder went so far as to sing about it. Their moral reasoning was sound at that time in history, but with 20/20 hindsight Stevie's claim that "Peace has come to Zimbawe" sounds foolish.

The political cynic in me thinks that western governments see two enemies fighting each other on their own territory. they are in no hurry to pull them apart.

Re:Peace has come to Zimbawe (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43681027)

...they are in no hurry to pull them apart.

Not as long as they can make a sale.

Re:Peace has come to Zimbawe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682261)

...they are in no hurry to pull them apart.

Not as long as they can make a sale.

The rebels don't have the dough to buy the fancy missiles and Assad can't really buy them now either. Bullets and guns lack the big profits.

This isn't about money, its about not giving a shit. That is also why most of Africa can basically go to hell and no one does anything. Genocide, war crimes, whatever, EU doesn't have a stake in it, USA doesn't either, and there isn't any oil to endanger in many parts.

Re:Peace has come to Zimbawe (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43682877)

Yes and no, during the cold war Syria was to the soviets as Israel was to the west, UN voting patterns on resolutions concerning Syria and Israel did not change after the collapse of the soviet union. The crippling third world debt concentrated in north African countries was eventually dropped after the successful Geldof/Bono campaign of the 80's, the crippling debt was also an artifact of the cold war. Both sides had installed/bought puppet governments and then gave them huge amounts of money in the form of loan guarantees to buy weapons to fight the proxy wars. Israel still receives something like $10billion in loan guarantees from the US every year which it is obliged to spend on US weapons. Syria not so much in "aid" these days but it still has some moral support in the UN from Russia, China, and most of the other former soviet allies.

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680307)

how could you tell

More spearphishing?! (1)

edi_guy (2225738) | about a year ago | (#43680509)

Maybe it's just me, but I can't believe people are still falling for this tactic. Click on a link...enter your credentials...url looks like http://sdfkjh.sy/sdfas..sure [sdfkjh.sy] why not, Stacy from accounting sent it. The only good thing on this is that the SEA is exposing a lot of these weaknesses with basically harmless taunting. So hopefully these non-critical yet influential sites...A/P, various other news and popular sites, will have a chance to get their act together. In theory I could see a really beligerant entity creating a pretty effective "War of the Worlds" panic in 2013. Ha, ha those silly people in 1938 fell for a fake radio program...wait CNN and The New York Times report a nuke attack on Los Angeles?!....arm the ICBM's Dr. Strangleove

Re:More spearphishing?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681491)

Your link is broken, I wanted to see what Stacy was sending.

Re:More spearphishing?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43684255)

Maybe it's just me, but I can't believe people are still falling for this tactic. Click on a link...enter your credentials...url looks like http://sdfkjh.sy/sdfas..sure [sdfkjh.sy] why not, Stacy from accounting sent it.

In a targeted attack the attacker might very well send you to the actual website - XSS vulnerabilities are still shockingly common.

military/industrial complex electronic army (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#43680717)

Assad's regime is supported by oil money from BP(English Crown) and Royal Dutch Shell ('royal' is in the name) going back to the 1600s when the Aristocracy was not hiding behind legal companies.

The oil comes from Iran and Syria and gets loaded onto boats in a port on the Mediterranean in Syria then sails to points west including your gas tank.

Re:military/industrial complex electronic army (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680793)

You mean like Exxon oil from Saudi-Arabia, Supporting Sunni Terrorism Worldwide ? Including Bosnia, Chechnya, NY and Boston ?

Re:military/industrial complex electronic army (3, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#43681093)

1600s? BP and Royal Dutch Shell supporting a regime which didn't exist even before THEY existed?

Now THAT'S planning for the future!

Do tell how the Assad family is descended from the Ottoman Empire.

This will be interesting.

"This will be interesting." (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#43689201)

fine, here:

"Assad's regime is part of a centuries-old supply chain supported by oil money from BP(English Crown) and Royal Dutch Shell ('royal' is in the name) going back to the 1600s when the Aristocracy was not hiding behind legal companies.

For another instructive look at how this works, examine the life of Reza Shah [wikipedia.org] . He did function as leader, but what concerns us is his status as **stooge for the oil interests**. His ideology is secondary...it's about what he will do with the oil.

Do tell how the Assad family is descended from the Ottoman Empire.

That's not what I meant and I think you know it. You saw the grammar flaw and wanted to show how smart you are.

The Ottoman Empire is related to all of this of course, depending on what era of history we're discussing. The relationships changed over time as technology developed, markets opened, different leaders, etc. But the point that a Global Aristocracy is manipulating these events on a long time scale is not proven or disprove on your question.

Suckers, The Next War (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680771)

..will be against Syria/Iran. Now wait for the jews to inflame you for it. All their "comedians" and "concerned NGOs" will work hard towards the goal of eliminating even token opposition to the jewish Apartheid state.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680827)

It was a twitter account, not the actual office of the onion.

SEA (1)

tehlinux (896034) | about a year ago | (#43681381)

HAWKS!

I misread that completely (1)

anarcobra (1551067) | about a year ago | (#43681509)

I have no idea why, but for a minute I thought I the title said:
how the syrian electronic army hacked Tor.
And the comments and summary made no sense what so ever.
I guess Tor is a kind of onion as well.

How the Syrian Electronic Army hacked Windows .. (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year ago | (#43681527)

"On May 3, attackers from the SEA fired off phishing emails to Onion employees, at least one of whom clicked on a malicious link"

What OS did this nameless malware run on?

Re:How the Syrian Electronic Army hacked Windows . (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43682829)

"On May 3, attackers from the SEA fired off phishing emails to Onion employees, at least one of whom clicked on a malicious link"

What OS did this nameless malware run on?

Malware? What decade are you from?

Send an email with a link to tw1tter.com, they enter their password, you capture it. Job done. All that's needed is a browser.

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