POLITICAL HACKTIVIST GROUP the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has hacked the websites of eBay and Paypal.
The hacking was a show of arms and the group claims that it took no data. Rather, it says, it wanted to highlight how the firms have limited access to currency in Syria, and the impact that has had on its people.
As is their previous form the SEA made the claims on Twitter and in both cases the SEA account was able to produce images of the hacked webpages. The breach and defacement were done on Saturday evening.
The messages came from the @Official_SEA16 Twitter account, which is the 16th in a series. That account has been suspended since Saturday. A seventeenth SEA Twitter account is live but a tweet from it said that the SEA intends to revert to number 16, if and when Twitter allows it.
While it was live the 16th SEA Twitter account shared images of defaced webpages, but retweets of these webpages and the images have been removed. They showed a Syrian flag and a screenshot of control panels taken from Mark Monitor. The flag was displayed on several eBay webpages including the www.ebay.co.uk website. The SEA also posted what it claimed were internal emails from the payments firm.
The websites were affected for around an hour, according to reports, and the SEA said that it hoped people learned a lesson.
"If your Paypal account is down for a few minutes, think about Syrians who were denied online payments for more than [three] years," said the SEA16 Twitter account.
Paypal and eBay admitted they had been hacked in the end, saying that it affected a small number of visitors to European promotional webpages.
"For a brief period yesterday, a very limited number of people visiting certain Paypal and eBay marketing pages in the UK, France and India were redirected. The issue was quickly detected and resolved," said a spokesperson.
"No customer data was accessed by these redirects, and no customer accounts were affected. We take the security and privacy of our customers very seriously and are actively investigating the reasons behind the temporary redirects." µ