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Syrian Electronic Army attacks Outbrain

Time, CNN and Washington Post websites in the fallout
Fri Aug 16 2013, 13:10
Security threats - password theft

SYRIAN HACKTIVIST GROUP the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has carried out a successful attack on Outbrain that might have got it into Time, CNN and the Washington Post.

Outbrain admitted to the attack in a series of messages posted to its websites, and the SEA claimed responsibility through its latest and 16th Twitter account.

"Earlier today, Outbrain was the victim of a social engineering attack by the Syrian Electronic Army," Outbrain said.

"On the evening of August 14th, a phishing email was sent to all employees at Outbrain purporting to be from Outbrain's CEO. It led to a page asking Outbrain employees to input their credentials to see the information. Once an employee had revealed their information, the hackers were able to infiltrate our email systems and identify other credentials for accessing some of our internal systems."

This is the usual method employed by the SEA, but access to Outbrain let it put its stamp on the other news organisations' websites. Outbrain said that the SEA accessed its admin console to change recommendations on CNN from it to the SEA.

Outbrain shut down its system within around twenty minutes according to its latest information and has since restored it.

Screenshots posted to the Syrian Electronic Army's Twitter page and blog show that it had control of the administration console at Outbrain. It said that users should search for "SEA" on the webpages of the affected websites.

Earlier this week the hacktivist group was camped at the New York Post and Social flow. This year it has defaced prominent websites from the BBC weather to the Guardian. µ


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