Syrian Hackers Attack Media, Israeli Infrastructure

By | May 28, 2013

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Anonymous backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have reportedly hacked the Twitter account of British broadcaster ITV and made a failed attempt to sabotage the water supply of Haifa in Israel.

The attack on ITV last Friday took place just days after Twitter introduced its new “two-factor” authentication system in an attempt to block such infiltration.  It was not immediately clear if ITV had implemented the security feature before the hackers, calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), struck.

Bloomberg and Reuters reported that ITV, Britain’s largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, said on its national Twitter account that it was aware that it had been infiltrated and  was working to return to normal service as soon as possible. They quoted an ITV spokesman as saying: “The ITV News London Twitter account was compromised for a short time but has now been secured and the Tweets have been deleted.”

The spokesman said the breach was caused by a phishing e-mail.

Today (Monday) it was reported that the SEA had also targeted several Android apps of the British broadcaster Sky. The BBC said the apps were removed from the Google Play store after the logos were replaced with that of the SEA.

Over recent weeks victims of SEA hacks have reportedly included the BBC, the British newspapers the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Guardian,  the Onion, CBS News, the Associated Press,  National Public Radio (NPR), and the soccer governing body Fifa.

The Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday that the pro-Assad hacking group had tried and failed to gain access to computers controlling the water system in the Israeli city of Haifa.

The paper quoted Professor Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, as saying that members of the SEA tried to damage the computers this month  in response to air strikes on targets in Damascus, which were attributed by foreign sources to Israel.

You May Also Be Interested In: