Arts, Culture & Media

Syrian Electronic Army Hacks for Attention

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Keyboard (Photo: iStockphoto)

The Syrian conflict spill onto the web Tuesday.

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A group calling itself The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for hacking the Twitter account of the Associated Press.

The hackers posted a false tweet on the account, about supposed explosions at the White House.

That briefly sent stocks tumbling on Wall Street, before the AP could shut down its Twitter handle.

Jillian York, director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the Syrian Electronic Army is a pro-Assad, pro-Syrian government organization, possibly funded by the Syrian government. The group started at the beginning of the Syria crisis two years ago.

York says the group is supported by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "This is the only group registered as a government network and has a clear affiliation with the Syrian government."

She says Syrian Electronic Army's mission has been to "defend Syria against the propaganda campaign by media organizations." The group has also flooded the BBC Weather twitter feed and Al Jazeera with pro-Syrian statements.

York is convinced that Syrian Electronic Army may be operating as a distributed group, which includes a number of hackers all around the world, and not just from one location.

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