The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has been waging war online for much of the duration of the Syrian civil war, targeting websites of those they feel are working against the Assad regime.
Yesterday the group managed to hack into Australian hosting company and domain registrar Melbourne IT with verified reseller credentials and change the details for domains related to Twitter, the New York Times, and Huffington Post UK. The group managed to claim the unlocked domains and redirect them with their own nameservers. They claim that they planned to host an antiwar message on the redirected domains, but apparently their server could not handle the huge surge in traffic.
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) August 28, 2013
Whilst the DNS entries were reset quite quickly for the sites affected, some viewing the NYTimes.com website are still experiencing issues, with DNS propagation taking a number of hours to reach around the globe.
Whilst taking down some of the biggest sites on the web is newsworthy in itself, the anti-war message they were attempting to spread is also interesting. The SEA support Assad’s regime, but they also appear to not believe that the Syrian military would use chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict that has already killed over 100,000 people.
The US, UK, and France have already begun moving towards taking military action over the chemical attack, but the UN inspectors are still to report their findings from their onsite investigations.
This is the message the SEA wanted to publish:
People of the world,
This message comes to you from the still free and beating heart of Damascus the oldest capital of the world and the capital of Syria. For last three years, we have faced a fierce proxy war led by the gulf oil sheikhdoms and their masters in the white house. A few days ago, these powers conspired to frame the army as if it was using chemical weapons when it was advancing and winning against their Al Qaeda tools.
The Syrian army, which has lost tens of thousands of soldiers who were defending their homeland with nothing more than a rifle, would never have been the one to use chemical weapons. From his bald face lies, John Kerry the Vietnam war baby killer and current secretary of state of America, wants you to think so.
Have you not seen this movie before? Do you not remember Colin Powell’s dodgy WMD dossier? Do you not see that Cameron is a clone of Blair? And Obama is a clone of Bush, with a different shade? The world must not make this mistake again, for Syria is not Iraq.
Syria WILL defend herself, with all her power, the power that we have held in the hope that our enemies would come to their senses for the sake of world peace and the survival of civilisation.
But if the world is silent, we will have no choice but to fight this war to its end and that end won’t be inside Syria alone.
Rise up against the liars, rise up against the media that brought you the horrors of Iraq and the abandoned wasteland known as Libya. Rise up before the reality of war spreads to your doors.
The Syrian Electronic Army was here.