The group of pro-Assad hackers calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army hacked The Guardian news outlet over the weekend, marking the latest in a string of cyberattacks from the same organization. The incident emphasizes the potential threat such attacks could pose if executed for goals far more malicious than intimidation or mere gain of public attention. And news outlets are among the most useful targets to such groups.
The attack on The Guardian was in apparent retaliation for the outlet’s coverage on the conflict in Syria. Last year, The Guardian also published a cache of emails between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle, in articles that were, not surprisingly, not very flattering of Assad.
On April 15th, the same organization hacked NPR and several of its Twitter accounts, also over the outlet’s coverage of Syria. Only days later, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked several of CBS’ Twitter accounts and sent out pro-Syrian propaganda, including false claims that the CIA is arming Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria.