THE UNITED STATES Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning about the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), the pro-Assad hacker group that has become adept at spearphishing attacks and Twitter account takeovers.
The warning is in a memo and comes to us via the security blog belonging to Matthew Keys.
Keys has reproduced the memo and shared it on Scribd. The document says that the SEA has been around since 2011 and has compromised a number of high profile media outlets.
It warns of attack methods that include spearphishing, DNS attacks and web defacements, and it reminds us that the SEA posted a story about US President Obama to the Associated Press.
"Please maintain heightened awareness of your network traffic and take appropriate steps to maintain your network security," said the FBI memo. "If you detect anomalous or malicious traffic or network behaviour, please contact your local FBI Cyber Task Force."
The SEA acknowledged the FBI's attention on its Twitter feed. It appeared unmoved by the glare of law enforcement publicity.
It has long played a game of whack-a-mole with websites like Facebook and Twitter, both of which regularly force it to change accounts. According to the SEA the group is on its 225th Facebook account.
It publishes details of its takeovers through these accounts, and on it's own homepage, a Pinterest webpage and an Instagram account.
As well as hacking into media websites the hacker group has also struck mobile apps, DNS systems and the Australian web hosting business Melbourne IT. Doing all this has helped it to break onto the webpages of news media outfits like the Huffington Post, the BBC and Reuters. µ
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