Computer-savvy supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hacked the websites of a number of international news outlets Nov. 27.
A group known as the Syrian Electronic Army tapped into the websites of international companies as well as news sites including the Chicago Tribune, the U.K.-based Daily Telegraph and Italy's La Repubblica by exploiting an advertising and customer-service platform called Gigya used by many media outlets, CNBC and other news outlets reported.
"Happy thanksgiving, hope you didn't miss us. The press: Please don't pretend #ISIS are civilians," said a message posted by a Twitter account allegedly run by the Syrian Electronic Army.
The attack, which mostly redirected visitors to an image of the Syrian Electronic Army logo and Syrian flag, also successfully targeted companies including Dell Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Ferrari SPA. Other website visitors were given a blank screen with pop-up messages that read, “You have been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).”
The SEA exploited a security breach in a content delivery network used by many of the targeted news outlets, The Guardian newspaper said.
Earlier this year the SEA targeted the Sun and the Sunday Times websites, accusing them of publishing “fake reports and false articles about Syria.” In 2013, the SEA hacked social media accounts run by the Associated Press, the BBC, the Guardian and Skype.