Pro-Assad Syrian hackers launching cyber-attacks on western media


The Guardian has come under a cyber-attack from Syrian hackers who have targeted a series of western media organisations in an apparent effort to cause disruption and spread support for President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claimed responsibility for the weekend Twitter attack on the Guardian, having previously targeted the BBC, France 24 TV, and National Public Radio in the United States.

Other recent victims have included the broadcaster al-Jazeera, the government of Qatar, and Sepp Blatter, the president of football's governing body Fifa, whose Twitter account was hacked.

Last week the SEA successfully attacked the Associated Press news agency, whose Twitter account was temporarily breached, allowing the group to send bogus messages which wreaked havoc on stock exchanges. The hackers tweeted that President Obama had been injured in a bomb attack at the White House, causing a temporary 143-point drop on the Dow Jones industrial average.

Cybersecurity experts say the SEA attacks are designed to disrupt and embarrass, and the group will likely target any site that might give it an opportunity to spread propaganda for Assad.

Analysts and western intelligence agencies are increasingly sure the SEA, which emerged two years ago, is essentially a proxy for an administration that has been widely..

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