Cybersecurity

Syrian hackers say they knocked army.mil offline

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The Army’s website was down for several hours June 8, and hackers linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed responsibility.

“Today an element of the Army.mil service provider’s content was compromised,” spokesman Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost said in a statement. “After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily.”

Frost’s statement did not name a perpetrator, but the Syrian Electronic Army, took credit on Twitter. The SEA is a group of pro-Assad hackers and propagandists that surfaced in 2011. The group rails against perceived Western media bias toward the Syrian conflict, and has claimed credit for hacking news organizations such as the Associated Press and Washington Post.

This is at least the second high-profile hack of the U.S. military’s online presence this year. Pro-Islamic State hackers in January breached the Twitter and YouTube accounts of Central Command, displaying messages threatening violence against U.S. soldiers and posting military documents.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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