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The Syrian Electronic Army has been targeted by the FBI.  (Source: Digital Trends)
Meanwhile SEA and Anonymous continue to butt heads, claim to hack each other

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) -- a group of hackers endorsed by the government of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- has been targeted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a new advisory [PDF].  The FBI uses advisories to target cybercriminal groups that are on its international wanted list.

The advisory's describes the group writing:

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a pro-regime hacker group that emerged during Syrian anti-government protests in 2011, has been compromising high-profile media outlets in an effort to spread pro-regime propaganda. The SEA’s primary capabilities include spearphishing, Web defacements, and hijacking social media accounts to spread propaganda. Over the past several months, the SEA has been highly effective in compromising multiple high-profile media outlets.

The language of the advisory indicates both that members of Syrian hacker group are viewed as "terrorists" (although that word is not explicitly used by the agency) and that those helping them may face cybercrime and/or terrorism charges.
The hacker collective Anonymous – an international group without leaders -- has had mixed relations with the SEA.  While the group's biggest Twitter feed "YourAnonNews" regularly reports on the groups exploits, giving it publicity.  However, some members of Anonymous have also targeted the SEA for supporting al-Assad -- a leader who has been accused of using deadly sarin nerve gas on his own people.  Anonymous organizer "Commander X" in an interview with Vice remarked:

They are, by their own choice of allegiance to the dictator, the enemies of Anonymous. And they introduced themselves into the conflict fairly early on with a rather spectacular hack of a fairly well known Anonymous web site. We, in turn, responded by attacking their web assets and that conflict continues to this day.

Anonymous members targeting the SEA and al-Assad's online presence claim they're fighting for the freedom of the Syrian people.  They claim to have hacked the SEA more than once, exposing the real world identities of some SEA members.  The SEA, meanwhile, denies these claims and accuses Anonymous members targeting them of being FBI or U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) moles posing as members of Anonymous.

The SEA has drew the ire of the western world by attacking organization it regards as "anti-Assad" including many top news agencies and some humanitarian groups.  Over the past year it's compromised, defaced the webpages of, and/or denied service to Harvard University's homepage, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, the Telegraph (UK), the Independent (UK), Reuters, and -- most recently -- The New York Times.  

The group has also compromised several government sites -- most recently the recruiting page of the U.S. Marines,  In one of its most controversial moves they defaced the page of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), a nonprofit, independent, international humanitarian organization that gives aid and tries to report on war crimes.

SEA Harvard
SEA's defacement of Harvard's webpage [Image Source: Vice]

Ironically some of the group's most effective and disruptive efforts have been via compromising Twitter feeds.  The SEA has compromised the Twitter feeds of BBC News Weather and The Associated Press.  In the latter hack, which occurred last April the SEA posted fake news about a bombing at the White House and claims that President Obama had been injured.  The fake news created a mini stock market crash from traders who feared the worse, before trading was halted when the news was identified as fake.

Congress is currently debating a bomber or missile strike on President al-Assad, as information on allegations that he used chemical weapons slowly emerges.  CNN reports that over half of Senators and members of the House of Representatives remain undecided.  A major concern is that the Syrian opposition allegedly has ties to al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist organizations.

On Sunday various Syrian officials and state media sources taunted President Obama's decision to wait for Congressional approval to strike al-Assad as "hesitant and confused" and describing his actions as "[a] historic American retreat".  

Sources: FBI [press release], [Advisory; PDF]

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only picking on the little guys?
By purerice on 9/7/2013 12:42:44 PM , Rating: 4
Yet the FBI/CIA/NSA don't mind that Chinese hackers do much worse? How are Chinese hackers not terrorists for hacking into much more vital and dangerous areas than simple websites?

Or is it just that the FBI/CIA/NSA only like to pick on the little guys?

By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2013 4:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Obama wants to get a war on, its that simple. Kind of convenient, the timing of this announcement, don't you think?

RE: only picking on the little guys?
By B3an on 9/7/2013 10:31:20 PM , Rating: 1
Well to all us people lucky enough to not live in the US, we all think the US and NSA is worser than them all. Biggest spammers as well.

RE: only picking on the little guys?
By Ahnilated on 9/8/2013 12:01:02 AM , Rating: 3
Because the chinese own massive loans on the US.

RE: only picking on the little guys?
By ClownPuncher on 9/9/2013 12:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's mostly bonds that the Chinese bought. It's not a loan, it's an investment.

RE: only picking on the little guys?
By boeush on 9/9/2013 2:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see. I ask you to give me money, and in return I give you a legally-binding certificate that entitles you to a payout of all the money you gave me, with interest, by a set date. How is that not the very definition of a loan?

By ClownPuncher on 9/9/2013 2:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
I guess all of my investments are loans to financial institutions, too? Either that, or they are investments.

RE: only picking on the little guys?
By othercents on 9/9/2013 10:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
Because the FBI/CIA/NSA can not determine who is hacking the US from China. The Syrian hack has been confirmed and the organization has taken credit for it.

By wordsworm on 9/9/2013 10:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
Don't let facts get in the way of China bashing. The inbred community on DT love to take as many articles on DT as they can and spin them into why we should be bombing China and putting all non-whites into work camps.

By boeush on 9/9/2013 2:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty well known that the Chinese army - a.k.a. the PLA - is behind some of the most egregious hacks. Here's a couple of fairly recent and salient news items (Google will fetch you hundreds more with only a modicum of effort):

cyber punks = terrorist??
By crispbp04 on 9/7/2013 2:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
this makes no sense. It's not hard to be a script kiddie. It's also not hard to protect your network from these types.

RE: cyber punks = terrorist??
By Reclaimer77 on 9/8/2013 8:50:36 AM , Rating: 1
Remember this is the Administration who wants to take over and mandate the private sectors e-security. On the premise that they aren't going enough to protect themselves.

The US Government, with unlimited funds and resources, can't do any better than this?

By seraphim1982 on 9/9/2013 11:11:07 AM , Rating: 2
Unlimited fund....You mean money the US is borrowing from the FedReserve....
Be prepared for a crash when people start calling their loans back.

RE: cyber punks = terrorist??
By Mitch101 on 9/9/2013 12:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
I sometimes think they allow some of it or leave it weak on purpose to have a justifiable reason to counter and to identify those behind it aka a little Internet Honey Pot.

As for selling it as Terrorism. Think of the Audience as the average person is pretty clueless so selling a cyber punk/script kiddie as terrorist actions would be relatively easy.

By jwcalla on 9/7/2013 8:28:02 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think you can quote the word "terrorists" if the word wasn't used. That's the point of using quotation marks.

RE: wtf
By ClownPuncher on 9/9/2013 1:01:42 PM , Rating: 1
Hearst style journalism doesn't care about your "facts".

How About...
By mmatis on 9/7/2013 10:31:27 AM , Rating: 3
the FBI lableling NSA "terrorists" and adding THEM to their "Wanted List" for their treason?

RE: How About...
By PaFromFL on 9/9/2013 12:23:06 AM , Rating: 2
What label should you pin on government organizations that destroy centrifuges in other countries? Defacing websites is bad, but destroying real hardware is an act of war. The people that scream the loudest about "terrorists" should take a good look in the mirror.

Full Text
By hellokeith on 9/7/2013 4:27:38 PM , Rating: 5
Jason, there is no mention of terrorists or a wanted list.

(U//FOUO) The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a pro-regime hacker group that emerged during Syrian antigovernment
protests in 2011, has been compromising high-profile media outlets in an effort to spread proregime
propaganda. The SEA’s primary capabilities include spearphishing, Web defacements, and hijacking
social media accounts to spread propaganda. Over the past several months, the SEA has been highly effective
in compromising multiple high-profile media outlets.
? (U) The SEA has recently compromised high profile media Web sites through a new tactic of hacking
third party networks – including a Domain Name System (DNS) registrar and a content
recommendation website.
? (U) In April 2013, the SEA compromised the Twitter feed of the Associated Press, posting a false story
that President Obama was injured, causing in a brief drop in the stock market.
(U//FOUO) In addition to Syrian hackers, groups or individuals sympathetic to the SEA may also be observed
participating in CNO efforts against US Web sites and networks.
(U) Please maintain heightened awareness of your network traffic and take appropriate steps to maintain your
network security. If you detect anomalous or malicious traffic or network behavior, please contact your local
FBI Cyber Task Force or the FBI CyWatch (855) 292-3937 immediately.

By jcourtes on 9/7/2013 4:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
this is just pretext by the US to allow them to attack the SEA with missile strikes as military targets in their upcoming aggression on Syria.

By drycrust3 on 9/8/2013 11:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
The SEA has drew the ire of the western world

"The SEA has drawn..." would sound better.

By cscpianoman on 9/9/2013 11:34:43 AM , Rating: 2
Talk about timing, how about this one...

I am betting that Russia but Syria up to releasing the chemical weapons and is now sitting back and watching with popcorn in hand. They are now watching the leaders of the free world bump around like buffoons. When put into a real crisis, we can't make a decision and all this is going to do is push off our important points of a balanced budget, immigration reform or a government shutdown, because we can't get our act together and act like a "united" states. Right now we are the laughing stock of the world.

I am not saying one is right versus the other, but can we please make a decision and move on?!

But, all we are going to do right now is point fingers and lay the blame game, just like politicians do. I am frustrated that our elected officials are so petty. I vote, and I will continue to vote, but the corruption and childishness needs to stop!

PS - Every once in a while I love conspiracy theories...
And thus I will end rant and sorta off-topic theorizing:P

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