Feeds

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

Turks pwn SEA, media targets savour the schadenfreude

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.