The Washington Post said Thursday its website was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, becoming the latest media organization victimized by the group that backs strongman Bashar al-Assad.
The hacker group gained access to a staff writer’s computer account after a series of sophisticated phishing attempts, Managing Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz said via e-mail. Phishing is a method of prompting a person to enter a username and password by presenting a fake login page.
The attack resulted in some readers being redirected to the SEA’s website, according to Garcia-Ruiz. “We have taken defensive measures and removed the offending module. At this time, we believe there are no other issues affecting the site,” he said.
A note to readers said the Post website “was hacked today, with readers on certain stories being redirected to the site of the Syrian Electronic Army.”
The Post is at least the fourth news organization that has been targeted by the Syrian Electronic Army this year. In April, the group claimed credit for infiltrating the Associated Press Twitter account and posted an erroneous message saying the White House had been bombed, sending markets down 1 percent in a matter of seconds. The group has also hacked the Financial Times and ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial TV station.
The group has claimed the news media has been biased in its coverage of the deadly conflict in Syria.