Feeds

HACKLASH! Syrian Electronic Army's website hacked by angry rivals

Turks pwn SEA, media targets savour the schadenfreude

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The notorious hacktivists of the Syrian Electronic Army have received an unwelcome dose of their own medicine, after their official website was defaced by a Turkish hacking crew.

TurkGuvenligi compromised the Syrian Electronic Army’s official sea.sy website after the pro-Assad group’s hosting firm was breached. It's unclear whether TurkGuvenligi used attacks based on phishing, weak passwords or software vulnerabilities (three examples of possible mechanisms) to gain illicit access to the SEA's website.

The SEA is notorious for a long run of attacks, the most high profile of which have involved taking over the blogs and social media profiles of media organisations (AP, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, The Daily Telegraph, The Washington Post, The Onion etc.) as well more recent high profile attacks along the same lines against Microsoft and Skype over recent days.

The SEA's normal modus operandi for hijacking accounts involves multi-stage phishing attacks. At first they aim to trick workers within a targeted organisation into handing over their email passwords before targeting those in charge of maintaining social media accounts with secondary attacks that take advantage of already compromised internal email accounts.

The SEA has also turned its hand to website defacement and hacking since 2011, when it first came to widespread notice.

TurkGuvenligi sprayed digital graffiti on the SEA's homepage which chastised the Syrian Electronic Army (extract below) for their activities.

You imbecils [sic] will attack our country with fake phishing emails and we’ll accept your lies and dont [sic] do anything? That is the end you deserve

The SEA’s website remains offline at the time of writing on Wednesday afternoon. A screencap of the defacement, along with related commentary, can be found in a blog post by veteran security industry expert Graham Cluley here.

TurkGuvenligi has form for these sort of shenanigans. In late December the Turks defaced the official OpenSSL website, leaving a message which read "TurkGuvenligiTurkSec Was Here @turkguvenligi + we love openssl". OpenSSL blamed the defacement on “insecure passwords at the hosting provider”.

"The source repositories were audited and they were not affected," OpenSSL reassured users in a statement issued in the immediate aftermath of the defacement.

"Other than the modification to the index.html page no changes to the website were made. No vulnerability in the OS or OpenSSL applications was used to perform this defacement. Steps have been taken to protect against this means of attack in future." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.