WASHINGTON – A hacker group sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar Assad apparently launched a coordinated wave of attacks on U.S. news outlets Thursday.
The group, calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), briefly succeeded in redirecting readers of some Washington Post articles to the the hackers’ own site. The SEA supports Assad, who has led a bloody campaign to crush Syria’s rebellion.
The hacking follows a phishing attack by an unidentified source this week aimed at securing the passwords and log-in information of email accounts maintained by Post journalists. Officials at the newspaper believe that the SEA was also the source of the phishing scam.
In a tweet Thursday morning, the SEA claimed that it had hacked the websites of the Post, CNN and Time magazine “in one strike.” The tweet indicated that the Post’s site was hacked through Outbrain, an ad network the paper uses to automatically suggest other stories that readers might like based on user profiles. Outbrain acknowledged a problem with its network Thursday.