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A Closer Look At the Syrian Electronic Army 47

Posted by timothy
from the adult-supervision-required dept.
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."
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A Closer Look At the Syrian Electronic Army

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  • 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.
    • 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!

      • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:44PM (#44709617)
        I would comment, but this message is being blocked by the government.

        Yours truly,
        Unmarked Black Helicopters
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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'

        • 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

        • by Salgak1 (20136)
          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. . .
      • by Anonymous Coward

        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.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      The average media site has very poor security compared to tier one targets.
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      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

      • 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.

      • by xenobyte (446878)

        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.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:36PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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].
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:24PM (#44709445) Journal

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

  • 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 represen

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

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

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