Hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime briefly defaced the homepage of the U.S. Army’s website on Monday.
The official page of the U.S. Army displayed pop-up boxes urging the United States to stop training Syrian rebels late Monday afternoon. The hackers also posted a drawing calling the Syrian regime’s army as “the defender of honor.”
The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a hacker collective aligned with Syria’s government, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter Monday.
The damages caused by the hack were not immediately clear, although it appeared to be primitive and designed to garner headlines rather than steal data. More sophisticated attacks on the United States by China usually go unadvertised.
The Army’s website was fully accessible by Monday evening.
The Syrian Electronic Army has made headlines by defacing the homepages of Western media organizations such as International Business Times, the New York Times and the Guardian in recent years.
Its most notable attack came in 2013 when it briefly created a stock market sell-off by hacking the Associated Press Twitter account and posting a tweet saying that the White House had been attacked.
The SEA’s goal is to counter propaganda and “fabricated news” against Assad by Arab and Western media. It describes itself as a “group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria.”
It is widely suspected that the group has financial ties to the Assad regime, despite past denials.