- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Syria wages cyber warfare as websites hacked
Question of the Day
He said the difference between the tactics of anti-government hackers and the Syria Electronic Army was that the latter publishes threats against anti-government activists along with their phone numbers and addresses, putting their lives in danger.
RevoluSec and Anonymous said Monday they were behind the latest attacks targeting the websites of several Syrian government ministries and some major Syrian cities.
The activists said they replaced the websites with caricatures of Assad and messages that read: “Don’t let Bashar monitor you online.”
They also published interactive maps detailing casualty figures since the start of the uprising.
Skinner said Monday’s hacking shows that the Syrian government has not erected sufficient defensive safeguards, despite reported training from its ally Iran on how to deal with the protest movement and mounting a sophisticated response.
The online attacks “underscore its vulnerability to curve-ball attacks,” he said. “It will undoubtedly require a strong response from the regime on the PR front.”
Anonymous said on its website that 12 government websites had been defaced by RevoluSec. Most have since been restored, but some were still down. The cartoons of Assad were removed.
“We hear that Syrian President Assad likes computers. Guess what? So do we,” read a message Monday on the Twitter account of RevoluSec.
“Our goal is to raise public awareness of the abhorrent actions of the brutal Assad regime and the bloody war that it wages on its own people,” a member of the group told The Associated Press Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government retaliation.
Assad, a British-trained eye-doctor who succeeded his father as president, was once seen as someone who could herald reforms in Syria. Prior to becoming president in 2000, he headed Syria’s Computer Society and pushed youth to become more computer-savvy.
Now activists seeking to oust him are using the Internet as a weapon against his rule, uploading graphic videos shot in secret of assaults on protesters and using social media websites to organize protests and relay messages.
Syria has banned journalists from reporting on the unrest, but videos posted online by activists have offered a rare and crucial glimpse into the far reaches of the country where the military has been deployed to crush protests.
Assad’s regime tightly controls traditional media outlets in Syria, such as television, radio and newspapers. State-run channels often blame the unrest on a foreign-inspired conspiracy and Islamic extremists.
Zeina Karam can be reached on http://twitter.com/zkaram
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Despite rhetoric, gun prosecutions plummet under Obama
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq