Syrian hackers attempt PsyOps campaign against U.S. Marine Corps

Syrian Electronic Army hits Marine Corps recruitment website

The pro-Assad hacking group, the Syrian Electronic Army, redirected the Marine Corps recruitment website on Monday, in order to deliver a message attempting to convince Marines that the Syrian army are actually allies.

"This is a message written by your brothers in the Syrian Army, who have been fighting al-Qaeda for the last 3 years. We understand your patriotism and love for your country so please understand our love for ours. Obama is a traitor who wants to put your lives in danger to rescue al-Qaeda insurgents," the SEA message to the Marines said.

The message went on to ask that the Marines look at what their "comrades think" about President Obama's proposed military actions against Syria. The message was referencing a series of pictures of men in uniform, masking their faces, holding signs with messages that are against any such military campaign. One sign said that the person holding it "didn't join the Marine Corps to fight for al-Qaeda in a Syrian civil war."

The references to al-Qaeda are due to President Bashar Hafez al-Assad's regime saying that they are fighting a war against terrorists, citing the fact that many of the Syrian rebels are receiving support from, or are actively part of, al-Qaeda — a fact that the White House has acknowledged.

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President Obama is waiting for Congress to return September 9, in order to seek their approval for limited military action in Syria, after their alleged use of chemical weapons late last month. In comments to local, government controlled media, the Syrian regime called Obama "hesitant and confused" adding that his move to seek approval marked "the start of the historic American retreat."

"Your officer in charge probably has no qualms about sending you to die against soldiers just like you, fighting a vile common enemy. The Syrian army should be your ally not your enemy. Refuse your orders and concentrate on the real reason every soldier joins their military, to defend their homeland. You're more than welcome to fight alongside our army rather than against it," the SEA's messaged concluded.

In a statement, Captain Eric Flanagan stressed that was not hacked, or otherwise compromised, but that it was redirected for "a limited amount of hours overnight."

Additionally, Captain Flanagan said the domain is "operating normally and our team is actively monitoring the situation and prepared to mitigate any future issues."

There has been no word on how was redirected, but the running theory is that the SEA used the same tactics as before, when they targeted Twitter and the New York Times.In that attack, the group used Social Engineering to gain access to domain controls in order to alter DNS records.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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