Several high-profile media websites have been affected by a hack that claims to have come from the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of computer hackers supervised by the Syrian Assad regime. Some users accessing the affected sites have been met with a popup message that says “you have been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army” before being redirected to an image of a crest, representative of the group.
Media reports indicate that the hackers have exploited an ad or content delivery network (CDN), and in most reported cases via the Gigya comments system.
A number of global websites, said to include the Chicago Tribune, CNBC, PC World, Forbes, the Independent, OK magazine, and the Telegraph, have reportedly been affected by the same issue.
A part of our website run by a third-party was compromised earlier today. We’ve removed the component. No Telegraph user data was affected.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 27, 2014
Despite updates from affected sites, users remain confused about the implications for them:
— Jules Samuels (@IamJulesSamuels) November 27, 2014
Meanwhile, the group’s official Twitter account @Official _SEA16 seems to taken responsibility of the hacking after tweeting the following message to ‘The press.’
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) November 27, 2014
According to The Independent, ‘The SEA has been active since 2011, though attacks increased in 2013. As well as news sites, the group have hacked into pages owned by the US Marines, Gmail accounts and Twitter pages.’