As Millenials, we’ve grown accustomed to metal detectors & the removal of our shoes at the airport. But a new threat exists, one that threatens our daily habits, our access to information, and one of the greatest innovations of our time: the target is the Internet and the attackers call themselves hackers.
Just yesterday, a source claiming to be associated with the SEA (Syrian Electronic Army) attacked the NY Times website and Twitter, disabling the news site for more than 10 hours and changing Twitter’s IP address. This article from the Guardian, who previously has been targeted by the SEA, describes the impact of the attack. Unlike the Chinese hackers who targeted the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, & the NY Times, the SEA’s modus operandi seems to be to draw attention to Syria’s civil war and offer pro-Assad messages. With the exception of hijacking the AP’s main Twitter page and falsely reporting that President Obama had been injured in an explosion, causing a 143-point fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the SEA hacks haven’t caused more than inconvenience. But, they do make you wonder if mass transit is still where we are most vulnerable.
The Guardian reports that “The SEA site says it fights “fabricated news” spread by the Arab and western media about what is happening in Syria. One member of the SEA told the website vice.com: “We’re all Syrian youths who each have our specialised computer skills, such as hacking and graphic design. Our mission is to defend our proud and beloved country Syria against a bloody media war that has been waged against her. The controlled media of certain countries continues to publish lies and fabricated news about Syria.””
Apparently, it’s all about media. And attacking Western media is the answer.