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February 23 2014

February 14 2014

February 06 2014

Syrian Rebels Seize Aleppo Prison, Freeing Hundreds

Syrian rebels have seized the Aleppo central prison, freeing hundreds of prisoners on Thursday, according to multiple news reports and rebel sources.

The rebels took control of 80% of the estimated 4,000-person Assad-run prison complex, said Rami Abdel Rahman, a spokesman for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The groups behind the assault, Rahman told French news agency Agence France-Presse, were Ahrar al-Sham and Al-Nusra, a jihadist group.

Syrian state television was quick to deny the news, broadcasting a breaking news alert stating that soldiers and security forces had foiled an attack against the prison "by terrorist groups," according to Sky News Read more...

More about Prison, Wars, Syria, Us World, and World

February 01 2014

Syrian Electronic Army: We Hacked eBay and PayPal

The Syrian Electronic Army, a notorious hacking group, says it claimed two big-name victims Saturday: eBay and PayPal.

While a hack on PayPal could put millions of peoples' bank information at risk, the hackers said this attack was a "hacktivist operation," and that they did not target account information. Instead, the SEA claimed it was able to replace the homepages of eBay and PayPal in France, Israel and the UK with its own logo

"We didn't do it to hack people accounts," SEA member Th3 Pr0 told Mashable. Th3 Pr0 said the SEA compromised eBay's domains manager, which allowed the hackers to shut down the website or redirect it another server. Th3 Pr0 added that the SEA was able to display its logo on various eBay and PayPal homepages for about 30 minutes. Read more...

More about Ebay, Hacking, Paypal, Ecommerce, and Syria

January 24 2014

Syria Denies Torturing and Killing Thousands of Detainees

The Syrian government has denied its systematic torturing and killing thousands of detainees, after a report documenting the alleged war crimes in grizzly detail surfaced earlier this week.

Syria's Justice Ministry blasted the report as "baseless," and said it is "fake, fabricated and is not based on evidence." The government's denial comes amid a week of unsuccessful peace talks between rebel factions and President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Geneva.

"The report is a mere gathering of photos of unidentified persons," reads a Justice Ministry statement posted on Syria's state-run media organization. Read more...

More about War, Syria, Us World, and World

January 11 2014

Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Microsoft Twitter Account

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) struck again Saturday, hacking a Twitter account that belongs to Microsoft.

The Microsoft News (@MSFTnews) account posted the following tweet just after 2:30 p.m. ET, before it was quickly removed.

SEA hack

"We can only say that's just the beginning," SEA member "Syrian Eagle" told Mashable, in an emailed response from an address believed to belong to the group.

The hack comes just 10 days after the group, known to favor Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, took over Skype's Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as its official blog. Microsoft, which owns the VoIP service, issued a warning to discourage people from using Microsoft emails following the New Year's Day hack. Read more...

More about Microsoft, Syria, Apps Software, Us World, and Us

January 07 2014

Syria's First Load of Chemical Weapons Headed for Destruction at Sea

The first in a series of chemical weapons shipments left Syria on Tuesday, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, marking the initial concrete step of an international endeavor to rid the country of its illegal arsenal.

The chemicals, which are bound for international waters and will be destroyed at sea, were loaded onto a Danish ship after they were delivered from two separate sites. The vessel then left the port of Latakia under the watchful eyes of the OPCW and the United Nations, who have partnered in a mission to extract the weapons.

More about Obama, War, Syria, Us World, and Us

January 02 2014

High-Tech Ship Ready to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

A U.S. cargo ship called the Cape Ray is being transformed into a war machine that will play a vital role in destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

The Department of Defense is outfitting the vessel with two hydrolysis machines that will use "heat, water and bleach-like chemicals" to degrade the chemical weapon stockpile. The plan comes after the Syrian government unleashed a chemical attack in August 2013, killing 1,400 rebel troops and civilians and resulting in a call to military action by President Barack Obama. Congress voted against the use of force, and the U.S. and Russia eventually brokered an agreement that allows other nations to extract and eliminate the weapons. Read more...

More about United States, Ship, Virginia, Syria, and Us World

December 27 2013

Cyber War in Syria Is Accelerating, Study Says

Pro-Assad hackers in civil war–torn Syria are targeting military opponents using increasingly sophisticated malware and social engineering attacks, a new report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Citizen Lab revealed.

Internet-based attacks by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were observed as early as 2011. According to the report’s findings, the hackers used a combination of social media manipulation, malware, and remote-access devices in order to trick opposition fighters into giving them access to their computers. With this access they can surveil and manipulate the opposition forces. Read more...

More about Malware, Internet Security, Cybersecurity, Syria, and Bashar Al Assad

December 06 2013

How the U.S. Plans to Help Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

The Department of Defense is planning to help eradicate Syria's chemical weapons with some chemicals of its own.

Later this December, department officials plan to test a portable hydrolysis system that uses "heat, water and bleach-like chemicals" to transform the weapons into a lower grade of hazardous waste that is more manageable, according to a news release on the department's website. The tests will be conducted on Cape Ray, a U.S. Merchant Marine ship, marking the first time such a test would be performed at sea.

More about United States, Department Of Defense, Syria, Gadgets, and Us World

September 18 2013

Syrian Rebels Use iPads and Smartphones to Aid Weaponry

In the absence of a military infrastructure, Syrian rebels have turned to smartphones and tablets to track, aim mortars at, and plot attacks against government troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, according to U.S. arms and defense experts.

A Reuters photo taken on Sept. 15 in Damascus depicts a member of a branch of the Free Syrian Army holding an iPad up to a mortar. Business Insider reporter Paul Szoldra speculated that the rebel was using an app to level the mortar tube before firing.

What types of apps the rebels choose to aid their assaults is not always certain, but experts agree that they're used on a regular basis. Read more...

More about Targeting, Iphone, Mapping, Ipad, and Syria

September 16 2013

Brazilian Hacker Hits 14 NASA Websites

Starting last Tuesday, 14 subdomains of NASA went down

One of them, dedicated to the Kepler mission that searches for habitable exoplanets, had an announcement posted that read, "Down for Maintenance: The requested webpage is down for maintenance. Please try again later."

As Naked Security noted, these websites are all hosted in the heart of Silicon Valley. Although NASA is a high-profile hacking target, CWZ CyberCrime maintains the agency “is now more famous for its poor cyber security rather than anything else.”

An exaggeration, though maybe not from the security point of view

Earlier-known security problems include the exposure of the algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station. Data on the agency’s Constellation and Orion programs were leaked, as was personal information on thousands of NASA employees. Twice Read more...

More about Brazil, Nasa, Obama, Hacker, and Syria
Full Report: United Nations Confirms Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

The United Nations released its report on Monday, confirming the usage of chemical weapons in Syria.

On Aug. 21, President Bashar al-Assad allegedly unleashed a chemical weapons attack in a small suburb outside Damascus, killing at least 1,429 people, according to U.S. officials. As the United States contemplated military retaliation, the UN deployed an investigative team to assess the claim. According to the report:

On the basis of the evidence obtained during our investigation of the Ghouta incident: the conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale. In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples, we have collected, provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus. Read more...

More about United Nations, Syria, Bashar Al Assad, Us World, and Politics

September 10 2013

John Kerry to Discuss Syria Policy on Google Hangout

Secretary of State John Kerry will answer questions about the conflict in Syria and the United States government's response to the alleged chemical attack during a Google Hangout on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. ET, per an announcement from the Department of State.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Lara Setrakian, founder of the website Syria Deeply, will host the Hangout. Kerry participated in a Hangout in May when he became the first secretary of state to use Google's platform.

Kristof and Setrakian will also be joined by Andrew Beiter, regional education coordinator for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and a social studies teacher Springville Middle School in Springville, N.Y. Read more...

More about War, Syria, Bashar Al Assad, Us World, and Politics

September 07 2013

Disturbing Videos Show Effects of Syria's Alleged Chemical Attack

In an attempt to convince the U.S. Congress to approve a military strike against Syria and the Bashar al-Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons, the Obama administration is showing disturbing videos of the alleged attack's aftermath to legislators

The videos show men, women and children dead, convulsing or shaking, in reaction to the alleged chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21. Previously posted online, CNN obtained 13 videos that the administration is showing to senators in closed-door meetings ahead of next week's Congress vote

More about Barack Obama, War, Syria, Bashar Al Assad, and Us World

September 06 2013

War in Syria: A Timeline of Key Events Since Chemical Attacks

The conflict in Syria started more than two years ago, but it reached a tipping point on Aug. 21 when President Bashar al-Assad's regime allegedly launched a deadly chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus, violating international regulations and inciting worldwide outrage

Since then, tension has been high as President Obama contemplates retaliation against Assad, and the U.S. Congress will vote on military intervention next week. The interactive timeline below summarizes the events of the last two weeks, following the alleged chemical attacks, which the U.S. government says killed 1,429 people. Read more...

More about United States, War, Syria, Bashar Al Assad, and Us World

September 05 2013

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Surreal Instagram Feed

On the morning of Aug. 21, strange, awful images began spreading from the eastern suburbs of Damascus to the international media: footage of screaming children, of dead animals and human victims stretched out on the ground, their eyes glazed and pupils dilated, some convulsing, some motionless

The Obama administration would later say it was evidence of the worst chemical-weapons attack in 25 years, carried out by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, a violation of international norms of warfare and a provocation that demanded a military response

But the images posted on Assad's Instagram feed from the same period convey nothing of a regime in crisis. They show the angular Syrian despot, who turns 48 on Wednesday, striding through a room of academics who helped train Syrian high school science students for an international science competition. Read more...

More about Social Media, Middle East, Instagram, Syria, and The Dictator Game

May 15 2013

Syria Suffers Yet Another Internet Blackout

Just a week after a previous online blackout, Syria is once again cut off from the global Internet. The latest disruption started at 07:01 UTC/03:01 a.m. ET, according to Internet monitoring firm Renesys. As Google and Akamai confirmed the outage, Syrian authorities were quick to blame it on a faulty cable

Syrian Internet offline again 07:01 UTC / 10:00am local.BGP down, inbound traceroutes failing, nameservers and gov websites down.

— Renesys Corporation (@renesys) May 15, 2013

Looking at @akamai traffic patterns, #Syria Internet is offline again, following last week's 19-hour outage: twitter.com/akamai_soti/st…

— StateOfTheInternet (@akamai_soti) May 15, 2013

More about Syria, Us World, and World

August 10 2012

What Is the Syrian Electronic Army?

As forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad clash with the rebel Free Syrian Army in the streets of Syria, Internet-savvy government supporters are fighting a parallel information war in cyberspace. Called the Syrian Electronic Army, the group has a single mission: unleash an onslaught of pro-government propaganda upon the Internet.

Strategy and Tactics

To achieve that goal, the group uses social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube to counter the claims of the rebel Free Syrian Army. It coordinates massive spam attacks against anyone it perceives to be anti-government, posting thousands of pro-government messages in news article comment threads and on public offici…
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More About: Arab Spring, Syria, World, anonymous, cybersecurity, middle east, syrian electronic army, technology

August 09 2012

Social Media Becoming Online Battlefield in Syria

Social media is often credited with helping spread the Arab Spring, as activists shared messages of discontent and organized protests using Facebook and Twitter. More than a year after the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, it has become a megaphone for propaganda from both sides of the struggle in conflict-ridden Syria.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are replete with propaganda from Syria -- government forces and rebels have been using the networks to spar for the attention and support of the outside world. The Syrian government even has a division, the Syrian Electronic Army, assigned to the task.

"It's not surprising that Syria has attempted to develop a cyber warfare capability," J…
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More About: Arab Spring, Facebook, Social Media, Syria, Twitter, World, YouTube

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