Washington Post confirms it was hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Summary:The new property of Jeff Bezos wasn't the only major news outlet targeted by the organization.


The Washington Post is back up and running today after revealing that it was indeed the latest target of a cyberattack by the Syrian Electronic Army.

The venerable newspaper, which was just bought by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a surprise deal, confirmed the attack on its website on Thursday.

Here's the statement from managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz:

A few days ago, The Syrian Electronic Army, allegedly, subjected Post newsroom employees to a sophisticated phishing attack to gain password information. The attack resulted in one staff writer’s personal Twitter account being used to send out a Syrian Electronic Army message. For 30 minutes this morning, some articles on our web site were redirected to the Syrian Electronic Army’s site. The Syrian Electronic Army, in a Tweet, claimed they gained access to elements of our site by hacking one of our business partners, Outbrain. We have taken defensive measures and removed the offending module. At this time, we believe there are no other issues affecting The Post site.

According to The Atlantic, the Washington Post wasn't alone, adding the websites of CNN and Time Magazine to the list of major news outlets targeted by the hackers supporting the regime of current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The news of the security breach at the Post also follows just one day after The New York Times experienced a significant downtime .

However, the Times asserted that the outage was the result of a failure during regular maintenance.

The Syrian Electronic Army has a history of targeting news companies, among other prominent global organizations.

Earlier this year, the hacker group launched a series of attacks on Twitter , Thomson Reuters, The Associated Press, and The Guardian, among others .

Topics: Security, Government, Legal, Privacy, Tech Industry


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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