Citizen Lab Research Fellow John Scott-Railton spoke to Politico regarding the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers in support of Bashar Al-Assad’s government. The US Army’s web domain was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, shutting down the domain for several hours. The Syrian Electronic Army tweeted a screenshot to take credit for the attack, and John Scott-Railton said that it shows Syrian Electronic Army’s standard practice of compromising one admin for a site, then using the account to lock the others out and deface it. “The many defacements by the Syrian Electronic Army illustrate … a low-resourced group can nevertheless cause substantial embarrassment,” Scott-Railton said.
Citizen Lab research into malware used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), documented in the report “Malware Attacks Targeting Syrian ISIS Critics,” was featured in a Business Insider article. Phishing attacks have been sent to groups documenting human rights abuses in Syria via email. When attachments infected with software were opened, the victim’s location was shared with the sender. This allowed ISIS to locate the members of these human rights organizations, or even citizen media reporting on events regarding ISIS.