Washington Post Site Hacked by Syrian Group

Last week, the website of the Washington Post was disrupted on Thursday morning after a group of hackers who are sympathetic to current President Bashar al-Assad apparently launched a wave of different coordinated attacks on the news agency in the U.S.

A hacker group that goes by the name Syrian Electronic Army was able to briefly succeed in redirecting Washington Post readers to articles on the SEA site.

The group supports al-Assad, who has being fighting a long campaign to end a two-year rebellion inside Syria.

The intrusion by the hackers lasted nearly 30 minutes and affected many articles about foreign news.

The Post’s managing editor of its digital division said it had taken measures to heighten its defenses.

The hacking came after a phishing attack whose source is still unidentified. That attack was aimed at securing log-in and password information of e-mails for Post journalists.

The attacker sent emails to mailboxes in the Post. The emails appeared to originate from colleagues in the Post and directed its recipient to click the link in the mail to and provide its log-in information.

Officials at the Post believe the email phishing attack was also done by the Syrian Electronic Army.

The SEA, in a tweet on Thursday, claimed it had hacked the sites at the Post, Time magazine and CNN all at the same time.

The SEA tweet said the Post had been hacked via the ad network Outbrain. The Post uses the network to automatically suggest different stories to readers, based on the different user profiles.

Outbrain did acknowledge a problem its network had on Thursday, saying they were aware of a hack that took place earlier on Thursday.

Outbrain said they ended the hack and blocked the hackers from entering their site, but were going to keep the service offline to ensure its safety.

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