Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Hardware
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Hacked Web Sites
Hacked Web Sites' Achilles Heel: Outbrain Service

By Seth Fitzgerald
August 16, 2013 11:14AM

    Bookmark and Share
The Syrian Electronic Army has been gaining attention after hacking the BBC Weather Twitter account in March 2012. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- who has knowledge regarding computing -- has referenced his "electronic army" before, but no formal ties between the SEA and his regime have been established.
 



The Washington Post and multiple other Web sites were hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army this week. It appears the SEA was able to hack these sites by first gaining access to Outbrain.

Outbrain is a content recommendation service, and is used by all the major Web sites that were hacked throughout yesterday. After posting pictures, it was confirmed that the SEA had successfully entered the admin panel of Outbrain and compromised the sites that use its services.

CNN, Time, and the Washington Post were all affected by the hack and, as a result, users that tried to visit their sites were redirected to the Syrian Electronic Army Web site. The Washington Post acknowledged the hack had occurred, telling Mashable that the SEA "claimed they gained access to elements of our site by hacking one of our business partners, Outbrain."

Outbrain acknowledge the attack and said it immediately took down its service to protect its customers.

"The breach now seems to be secured and the hackers blocked out, but we are keeping the service down for a little longer until we can be sure it's safe to turn it back on securely," Outbrain told The Post in a statement. "We are working hard to prevent future attacks of this nature."

What Is the SEA?

The Syrian Electronic Army has been gaining attention since last year after first hacking the BBC Weather Twitter account in March 2012. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- who has knowledge regarding computing -- has referenced his "electronic army" before, but no formal ties between the SEA and his regime have been established. Instead, the SEA appears to be made up of professional hackers who simply have the same ideology as Assad.

The SEA appears to be going after anyone who says anything in opposition to Assad. Because of that, news organizations like Time and The Washington Post are targets because of their size and coverage of the conflicts within Syria. Many SEA attacks have been small, but the group has ramped up recently, attacking larger Web sites and using more sophisticated tactics.

SEA and Anonymous

The SEA and "hacktivist" group Anonymous have publicly shown a strong dislike for each other. Anonymous carries out hacks but tends to target people such as the SEA who spread disinformation about various political matters, whereas the SEA is just a pro-Assad group.

Although Anonymous members tend to be against government agencies like the CIA and FBI, a top-level SEA member named "Th3 Pr0" told alternative news Web site VICE, "Anonymous isn't one organization; there are many taking on that name, some of whom claim to be genuine fighters for justice but are actually FBI and CIA agents."

Even though the two groups do not like each other, both organizations are causing chaos online. Anonymous has carried out attacks against various banks as well as Sony's PlayStation services, whereas the SEA has generally been a small-scale hacking group using Denial-of-Service attacks.

An attack against the Syrian Ministry of Defense Web site from Anonymous prompted the hatred between the two groups to grow.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Hardware
1.   Online Access for the Deaf and Blind
2.   Vaio Fit Battery Danger Forces Recall
3.   Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
4.   Fast Seagate 6 TB Drive for Data Center
5.   Broadcom Upgrades Its SDN Hardware


advertisement
Online Access for the Deaf and Blind
Pilot program provides technology tools.
Average Rating:
Fast Seagate 6 TB Drive for Data Center
Can use 12 Gb/s SAS interface.
Average Rating:
Sony Digital Paper Cuts Paper Waste
High price justifiable for business.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tips To Defeat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 
Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware, Too
It appears the Heartbleed security bug affects not just Web sites, but also the networking equipment that connects businesses and homes to the Net, including Cisco and Juniper's equipment.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 
Analyst: Samsung Galaxy S5 Won't Sway iPhone Lovers
The Samsung Galaxy S5 hits store shelves on Friday and the reviews are starting to pour in. The question is: Can the latest in the Galaxy line grab more market share from Appleā€™s iPhone?
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.