Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Closer Look At the Syrian Electronic Army

timothy posted 1 year,3 days | from the adult-supervision-required dept.

Security 47

tsu doh nimh writes "Yesterday saw the publication of two stories focusing on two different Syrian men thought to be core members of the Syrian Electronic Army, the hacking group that took credit for recent break-ins that compromised the Web sites of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media outlets. Working with a source who says he hacked into the SEA's servers this year, Vice.com profiles a fairly high-profile SEA member who uses the nickname "ThePro" and outs him as a young man named Hatem Deeb. Separately, Brian Krebs managed to get hold of the SQL database for the SEA's Web site after it was allegedly hacked this year, and follows a trail of clues back to one of two administrators of the SEA, which leads to another Syrian guy — a Web developer named Mohammed Osman, a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem."

cancel ×

47 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Ah the good new days! (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709383)

Unlike the good old days when governments had better technology than everyone else and other governments. It's amazing how a bunch of state sponsored hackers can, to a degree, level the playing field a little more. Now if they could only start hacking targets worth hacking instead of media outlets.

Re:Ah the good new days! (5, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709427)

Unlike the good old days when governments had better technology than everyone else and other governments. It's amazing how a bunch of state sponsored hackers can, to a degree, level the playing field a little more. Now if they could only start hacking targets worth hacking instead of media outlets.

I think what they've discovered is that hacking the media outlets is the most effective way to affect change. Way more effective than terrorist bombings in getting things to actually change, as you're guaranteed to get lots of eyeballs and actually get your message across.

What I'm waiting for is a change in DEPTH of hacking media outlets. If they hack the feeds going to and from the outlets, they control the information/propaganda being fed to the consumers of the information. They can use this to increase coverage of underreported stories, change the slant of the data being consumed, or even block information not beneficial to their cause. Just like world governments already do!

Re:Ah the good new days! (4, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709617)

I would comment, but this message is being blocked by the government.

Yours truly,
Unmarked Black Helicopters

Re:Ah the good new days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44710537)

so would harrassing, terroriznig, fraternizing, and other wise trying to bend media to your will.

1. they are soft targets. They don't cary guns, body armor, ride in armored vehicles, or rarely militarty training, awareness, etc... They would be prone to panic under attack, as well as easy to overpower.

2. Easy to track, friends and family, don't live in worlds of secrecy nor protect their identities. Information you'd need to harass them can be found easily. very visable in public.

3. Often criticial of the government, and concious of not looking like government supporters.

4. Lack of real integrity, they really don't care what they publish so long as no one will question their credibility.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710895)

so would harrassing, terroriznig, fraternizing, and other wise trying to bend media to your will.

1. they are soft targets. They don't cary guns, body armor, ride in armored vehicles, or rarely militarty training, awareness, etc... They would be prone to panic under attack, as well as easy to overpower.

2. Easy to track, friends and family, don't live in worlds of secrecy nor protect their identities. Information you'd need to harass them can be found easily. very visable in public.

3. Often criticial of the government, and concious of not looking like government supporters.

4. Lack of real integrity, they really don't care what they publish so long as no one will question their credibility.

Excellent points.

Re:Ah the good new days! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44710581)

What has SEA accomplished? Seriously, other than being annoying douche bags?

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, managed to make America spend more than a trillion dollars and to some extent as a result, sink itself into economic trouble. They've also managed to trick us into ruining our reputations on the world stage, curtail our own freedoms, invite us to spy on ourselves and essentially forego constitutional protections. Plus these protracted conflicts abroad have nearly broken the back of our mighty military.

I'd say terrorist bombings have worked a lot better than hacking the NYT.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710951)

What has SEA accomplished? Seriously, other than being annoying douche bags?

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, managed to make America spend more than a trillion dollars and to some extent as a result, sink itself into economic trouble. They've also managed to trick us into ruining our reputations on the world stage, curtail our own freedoms, invite us to spy on ourselves and essentially forego constitutional protections. Plus these protracted conflicts abroad have nearly broken the back of our mighty military.

I'd say terrorist bombings have worked a lot better than hacking the NYT.

Except it wasn't the airplane crashes themselves, but the media's portrayal of them that did that.

As far as the actual impact destroying the WTC had, most of that side of things never even got covered by the media, and most people don't know about it. And most of those things you're discussing were already in the works and just waiting for an "event" to be put into motion. One of the other things in that slate was attacking Iraq -- which the US went and did even though the event didn't really line up well with it.

Re:Ah the good new days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711607)

Kinda like what Reagan did to the USSR.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | 1 year,3 days | (#44712917)

Reagan didn't do shit. The USSR was already moribund.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#44757397)

I would disagree. The point of terrorism, be it physical (bombs, guns, etc) or electronic is to get people to change their behavior. Considering how media-dependent the average US Cit is (and not even considering the so-called "low-information voters), modifying the news they see seems to be a faster and less risky alternative. . .

Have to compete with the Saudis (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711883)

The Saudis want Assad dead. The Saudis and Gulf States spend millions on lobbyists. Saudi Prince Alwaleed owns 7 percent of Fox News. Assad can only afford several hackers. Assad is going to lose the media war. I'd say Assad is screwed.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709563)

The average media site has very poor security compared to tier one targets.

Re:Ah the good new days! (2)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709567)

hacking a web site isn't much of an accomplishment. rather like spray painting over a billboard. taking over a serious system such as a banking mainframe network would be impressive but that requires real knowledge and skill

Re:Ah the good new days! (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709705)

hacking a web site isn't much of an accomplishment. rather like spray painting over a billboard. taking over a serious system such as a banking mainframe network would be impressive but that requires real knowledge and skill

This.

Wake me when they manage to DDoS Wall Street for a couple days.

Re:Ah the good new days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44710271)

Wakey wakey!
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-22/nasdaq-halts-option-trading-arca-cancels-some-orders-on-errors.html

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,2 days | (#44716431)

Careful rubbing those two brain cells together, if it were to start a fire I fear it would be a complete loss.

Re:Ah the good new days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709789)

Or perhaps capitalization, but I would go with high jacking a network television station.

Also, to boot, any US official making the decision to go into Syria should be arrested on the spot.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

polar red (215081) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710249)

What about the US officials, who have for the last few decades ordered the meddling in the middle east?

Re: Ah the good new days! (1)

ExFCER (1001188) | 1 year,2 days | (#44714161)

Well said.

Re:Ah the good new days! (1)

xenobyte (446878) | 1 year,2 days | (#44714485)

hacking a web site isn't much of an accomplishment. rather like spray painting over a billboard. taking over a serious system such as a banking mainframe network would be impressive but that requires real knowledge and skill

Exactly. The SEA is nothing but over-glorified script kiddies. They defaced some websites and guessed their way into some DNS registrar accounts - not exactly major feats of hacking.

This is actually also the case with many of the other 'infamous' middle eastern groups - script kiddies with over-inflated egos and terrible spelling skills. Sure they can do some damage but our it-infrastructure is clearly not in danger, provided that at least average security is in place.

Re:Ah the good new days! (3, Informative)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709571)

There's a big difference between phishing a media outlet employees, and actually hacking into something. I don't see them doing much more than the former.

Re:Ah the good new days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44712305)

state sponsored? maybe sponsored by united states

Isn't it a more important question (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709437)

... if these alleged hackers are the actual persons involved in the New York Times and Washington Post hacks? How was that connection made?

Re:Isn't it a more important question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709499)

They are from Syria? Seems like they may be guilty, lets crowdsource justice and post their names and passwords. It will be just like when Reddit found the person in Boston [usatoday.com] .

a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709445)

I'm sorry, son, but you must have me confused with someone else. My name is Roger Murdock. I'm the co-pilot.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709483)

I think you're the greatest, but my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense.

And he says that lots of times, you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try... except during the playoffs.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709769)

And don't call me Shirley!

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (3, Funny)

DebianDog (472284) | 1 year,3 days | (#44709867)

The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (1)

naranek (1727936) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710017)

And he's not from the Syrian Electronic Army but from the Electronic Army of Syria.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (2)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710349)

Splitters!

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (2)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710449)

"And he's not from the Syrian Electronic Army but from the Electronic Army of Syria."

No, you mean the Peoples Electronic Front of Syria.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711347)

The Womans Sybian Orgasmic Army!

I like to watch them practice.

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (1)

Eyeball97 (816684) | 1 year,3 days | (#44712519)

D'oh! I think you mean The Popular Peoples Front of Syria...

Re:a.k.a. Mohamed Abd AlKarem (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | 1 year,2 days | (#44716477)

Better than the Unpopular Robot's Backside of Syria. (It is shiny, you may bite it)

Did this guys name just whoosh over all your heads (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709783)

Hatem Deeb= Hate em deep (with an Arabic accent). Seems to me just another cover name.
Wonder who's writing this stuff? Maybe the guys who dream up James Bond villains?

Re:Did this guys name just whoosh over all your he (1)

PlastikMissle (2498382) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710279)

That's actually a legitimate Syrian name.

Re:Did this guys name just whoosh over all your he (1)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,3 days | (#44710381)

Of course, just because its a legitimate name doesn't mean its not a fake one or a joke. Dick Swett is a real guy (and former congressman).

would you claim it was definitely a real name if the target was American and had the name Mike Hunt? Pretty legitimate name right there.

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44709883)

NIIGER community an operating system and building is us the courtesy I've never 5een the facts and

Now we know who invented ØÙ...ÙZ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44710061)

Besides ØÙ...ÙZÙÙZÙ'ÙÙÙÙØØ® ÌÌÌØ® ÌÌÌØ® ÌÌÌØ® ØÙ...ØرØÙSØ® ÌÌÌØ® I wonder what other surprises we are in store for.

I know! PHOTOS OF ØÙ...ÙZÙÙZÙ'ÙÙÙÙØØ® ÌÌÌØ® ÌÌÌØ® ÌÌÌØ® ØÙ...ØرØÙSØ® ÌÌÌØ® TATTOOED ON DICK CHENEY'S PENIS!

What are the chances? Another Osman. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44710791)

Bing or Google search for: CIA asset's codename Tim Osman

Can anyone even take SEA seriously anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711013)

I mean, these are the guys who proudly announced hacking The Onion to the world, and made themselves look like complete bumbling fools in front of the entire hack3r universe. I mean, what are they going to do NEXT week? Hack landoverbaptist.com & announce a victory over American Christianity's #1 portal site? ("All Jesus, All the time!").

The sad thing, and evidence of how totally they've failed in their mission, is the fact that if you asked anybody in America whether the Syrian Electronic Army represents those who want an Islamic Republic, or those who want Syria to remain secular, I'd venture a guess that 97% either couldn't tell you, or would guess and be wrong.

Rule #1 of public relations (a.k.a. propaganda) -- have a clue. Know what your message is, know WHY it's your message, and pretend to understand the people you're trying to convince.

Rule #2: be funny, and be relevant. Nobody *cares* if you hack Reuters, and hacking popular sites in ways that deface them or present blatant propaganda just pisses people off. Make a funny cat video that somehow involves Assad fighting the fundies, and watch it go viral overnight on Youtube. But remember... it has to actually be funny, entertaining, and understandable to somebody who thinks a Ba'ath is where gay guys go to cruise for sex.

Re:Can anyone even take SEA seriously anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711187)

Anymore would mean that at some point they were taken seriously. They aren't, nor have they ever been.

They can't affect me (for my favorite sites) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44711285)

Why? Well, you know (hosts files hardcodes, courtesy of "yours truly" & this application of mine):

---

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

---

* The screenshot shows its "Speedup Favorite Sites" tab - & that's a reverse DNS ping @ work, resolving my favorites to place @ the TOP of my custom hosts file - which, of course, makes me FOR SURE, reach my favorite sites unimpeded by attacks like this!

(Once that's done, & I do so for my top 20 favorites? I generally DON'T have to do it again for HUGE stretches (2++ yrs. straight now in fact)).

Yes, folks: It's NOT easy being "world-class"... lol, & impervious to such PUNY machinations, like me!

APK

P.S.=> Nice part is, it's not only SECURE vs. this type of stupidity/lunacy (of messing with DNS records), but it's FASTER than dns indexing up to around 3++ million records or so iirc, + also good vs. DNSBL's or DNS request logs too (quadruple bonus, for the price of 1 app)...

... apk

Ineffectual effete downmods... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44712135)

Can't stop the truth, right here -> http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4145369&cid=44711285 [slashdot.org]

(Chumps pulling "hit & run" downmods, but not disproving things I state? LMAO - please...)

APK

P.S.=> Whoever downmodded that, is WEAK (& they KNOW it)...

... apk

got sh0t in the foot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44712601)

as this shows that fear is indeed the path to the dark side.
it also shows that computer/network security suffers because of fear.
a bunch of "kids" that don't have to fear can hack western super powers easily
because people living in super power country live in fear.
fear of of all the computer security laws that stun their speaking out and researching.
this clearly shows that fear (of laws repercussion) can limit computer/network security MORE
then further it.
in short: if computer users wouldn't have to fear "doing something wrong" with the computer
and then having to go to prison, then much much more information would be revealed
to improve computer/network security for all?
if you want a carefree hacj\king crash course, bring a tent and sleepy bag.
for summer north korea is recommended. in winter better chose syria.
else keep a soap-on-a-string if you're in us/a

Re: got sh0t in the foot. (1)

ExFCER (1001188) | 1 year,2 days | (#44714251)

Ok...I wouldn't normally say this but you're dumb. 307

The SEA are a bunch of trolls (1)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44732209)

trying to bait the US and Russia into WW3. It could be the greatest troll ever, but hopefully the yanks are smarter than that.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>