Syrian Electronic Army hacks UK and North American media websites

28 Nov 2014

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A number of media websites in the UK and North America have been breached by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a notorious group of pro-Assad-regime hackers.

Outlets affected include London-based newspapers The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Evening Standard, as well as The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and New York Daily News.

As reported by Reuters, readers attempting to access certain parts of the websites yesterday were greeted with the message, “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army” before being redirected to a site featuring the group’s logo. The affected companies have since confirmed their systems are safe.

The hackers are believed to have accessed the sites via the GoDaddy account of gigya.com, a company that provides on-site engagement tools.

“To be absolutely clear: neither Gigya’s platform itself nor any user, administrator or operational data has been compromised and was never at risk of being compromised,” said Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer in a blog post. “Rather, the attack only served other JavaScript files instead of those served by Gigya.”

The SEA’s previous victims include Skype. The company’s Twitter account was taken over in January and the following tweet was retweeted more than 8,000 times: “Don’t use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), they are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. More details soon #SEA.”

Hackers image via Shutterstock

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com