PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, April 29, 2013

Syrian Electronic Army Has Regime’s Back In Cyberspace

A screenshot of a tweet from the Associated Press on April 23, 2013. (WJLA)

A screenshot of a tweet from the Associated Press on April 23, 2013, after its Twitter account was hacked. (WJLA)

A pro-Syrian government group has successfully attacked major news organizations and activists to counter what it says are “massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria.”

The British newspaper, The Guardian, became the latest institution to be hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

The list includes Oprah Winfrey, ABC News, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the BBC and NPR.

Most of the attacks have been on the order of pranks, but last week, the pro-Syrian government group successfully hacked the Twitter account of the Associated Press (@AP) to send out a false news tweet: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

It took stock markets about 3 minutes to figure out that the tweet was fake, but in that time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 150 points.

Washington Post foreign policy blogger Max Fisher says the attack shows that the group could do serious harm if it wanted to.

Fisher says The Syrian Electronic Army is notable for another reason: In every other Arab country affected by pro-democracy uprisings, anti-government activists have dominated cyberspace.

In the Syrian case, the pro-government cyber army has successfully denied that advantage to the regime’s opponents.

Recent pieces by Max Fisher:

Additional reading:

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.