Print 65 comment(s) - last by toolazy666.. on Sep 7 at 6:27 AM

Pro-Assad supporters rally in Syria.  (Source: AFP/Getty Images)
The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) attacks USMC website

Given how much money the U.S. spends on cyber-intelligence, it's kind of amazing how woefully vulnerable the frontends of top U.S. government pages have been.  The latest high-profile government page to fall victim to foreign hackers is one of the primary U.S. Marine Corp. (USMC) webpages.

After attacks on The New York Times and Twitter, the Syrian Electronic Army -- a group of hackers in Syria who support President Bashar al-Assad -- hijacked the domain and redirected it to a defaced page they created.  The site is used as a recruiting page for the USMC, whose primary domain is

The page has a "warning" to U.S. Marines about interfering in the nation's civil war, which states:

This is a message written by your brothers in the Syrian Army, who have been fighting al-Qaida for the last 3 years. We understand your patriotism and love for your country so please understand our love for ours. Obama is a traitor who wants to put your lives in danger to rescue al- Qaida insurgents.

Marines, please take a look at what your comrades think about Obama's alliance with al-Qaida against Syria. Your officer in charge probably has no qualms about sending you to die against soldiers just like you, fighting a vile common enemy. The Syrian army should be your ally not your enemy.

Refuse your orders and concentrate on the real reason every soldier joins their military, to defend their homeland.  You're more than welcome to fight alongside our army rather than against it.

Your brothers, the Syrian army soldiers. A message delivered by the SEA.

The domain remained hijacked for several hours early Monday morning with users redirected to the replacement page.  By 9 am, though, the USMC had regained control of their domain, stomping out the SEA's efforts.

Syrian Electronic Army USMC page redirect
[Image Source: The Independent]

The SEA -- who uses hacker group Anonymous's slogan "expect us" -- has been repeatedly attacking the webpages of governments and media outlets in the U.S. and Europe who have criticized the President al-Assad's regime in recent months.  A twitter statement posted on the SEA's official account brags "Syrian electronic army penetrates [USMC] site [translated]."

The U.S. has been preparing for a potential missile strike on Syria ever since President Barack Obama (D) accused Syria's Bashar al-Assad of using deadly nerve gas missile attacks on rebel strongholds in the cities of Jobar, Zamalka, 'Ain Tirma, and Hazzah, killing over a thousand people and injuring thousands more.

While President Obama has condemned the attacks, he has opted to wait for the UN to complete its analysis of samples gathered from the attack sites and to get Congressional approval before carrying out any military action.  On Sunday various Syrian officials and state media sources blasted President Obama's decision as "hesitant and confused" and described his actions as "[a] historic American retreat".

Sources: Syrian Electronic Army on Twitter, The Independent

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RE: difficult
By Schadenfroh on 9/2/2013 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think depleted uranium ammunition (which is significantly less radioactive than naturally occurring uranium ore) and smoke grenades are analogous to using Sarin gas... After a quick check of wikipedia, it would seem that white phosphorus is a poor choice if your goal is to kill people with the smoke it generates (as opposed to its typical use as a smoke screen / incendiary / tracer rounds), as it requires 30x the concentration to be as damaging as mustard gas.

Not that I'm suggesting juggling smoke grenades or using depleted uranium soda bottles (anymore than lead soda bottles)... I also wouldn't want to get hit with a WP tracer round anymore than I would want to get hit by one of the Soviet AK-74 5.45 bullets that are being used over there (which are designed to wound, rather than kill, by tumbling around inside of you, eviscerating your soft-tissue).

For the record, I agree with you 100% about the West not touching this conflict with a 10' pole. I'm totally against any Western involvement in the Syrian Civil War (including arming rebels) as both factions (Hamas & Al-Qaeda) are openly hostile to NATO & Friends.

RE: difficult
By Schadenfroh on 9/2/2013 4:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
My bad, meant Hezbollah instead of Hamas

RE: difficult
By Gondor on 9/3/2013 3:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
depleted uranium ammunition (which is significantly less radioactive than naturally occurring uranium ore)

There is hardly any naturally occurring uranium ore on the surface of our planet - most of it is hidden few hundred meters below the surface and radiation drops off with second power of distance between the source of radiation and the victim, meaning that doubling the distance between source and victim will decrease radiation dose by 4-fold, increasing it from 5 meters to 500 meters will decrease it by 10000-fold etc.

I wouldn't want any of this ~50% "less radioactive" DU landing in my back yard, as opposed to living in an area with deposits of uranium ore (mine is in process of closing, no ore has been extracted for a couple of decades now) roughly 10-15 km (less than 10 miles) away from my home, which I consider to be much less of a threat to my health for reason stated above; YMMV.

RE: difficult
By Lord 666 on 9/3/2013 11:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously never heard of radon.

RE: difficult
By inperfectdarkness on 9/3/2013 4:34:23 AM , Rating: 2

Complete FUD trying to insinuate that Sarin/VX/etc are even remotely the same thing as depleted uranium (DU)or white-phosphorus (WP). I don't care if the huffington post wants you to believe that--it's utter hogwash. Mercury, Lead and Arsenic poison more people that live in localities where DU rounds were used...than the effects of inhaled dust from expended DU rounds.

As far as involvement, it's a lot sticker than it appears at first glance. There's a lot of innocent civilians affected by the conflict. Unfortunately, there's currently no logical endgame in which a NATO-allied regime would be easily placed in power. Consequently, this means that a long-term occupation would be required to stabilize a new western-friendly regime. I tend to prefer letting the two sides thin their numbers via attrition, which would present a much easier target for future coalition operations--in the unfortunate event they are needed.

RE: difficult
By superflex on 9/5/2013 8:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
Source on that FUD about mercury, lead and arsenic?
I didn't think so.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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