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How Anonymous Plans To Expose Syrian Electronic Army Leaders

Anonymous hacktivist tells TechWeek his crew are gathering plenty of data on four leaders of the SEA

On by Thomas Brewster 0

A band of Anonymous hackers have pledged to wage war on the Syrian Electronic Army and expose the identities of four people it believes are leaders of the pro-Bashar al-Assad group, one member of the hacktivist collective has told TechWeekEurope.

Anonymous hacker BlackPlans told TechWeek, in a chat over a secure messaging service, of plans to uncloak The Shadow, The Pro, Syrian_34g13 and vict0r, all of whom have been cited before as key members of the Syrian Electronic Army.

The SEA, believed to be backed by the Syrian regime, has carried out numerous attacks on western media and rebel forces, hijacking social media accounts and using malware to infect enemy systems.

Anonymous vs. Syrian Electronic Army

Barbwire and grey wall with Syria national flag © Valeriy - FotoliaWhilst it is close to unveiling their identities, the hacktivist collective doesn’t want to get its attribution wrong, so is not being rushed into making public announcements. BlackPlanz claimed he and his cohorts attacked the Syrian Electronic Army website back in April and had access to email and social media accounts of key members of the SEA.

Data posted by the group online hinted it has plenty of information related to the SEA, although there is no guarantee it is genuine. BlackPlans sent a list of what the hacker claimed were usernames and passwords for admin access to the Syrian Electronic Army site, whilst revealing the Anonymous crew was sitting on 8GB of data related to the campaign.

“Syrian_34g13 is the most technical and also the one who talks to the media the least, we are fairly certain he is their leader,” BlackPlans said. “We have various information but nothing we would stake our reputations on.

“Each titbit of information we run across reveals further pieces of the puzzle, this is very much an ongoing process.

“We will not be releasing real names until we are more certain. We are being careful with the data because there are thousands of user accounts, we want to ensure that we only “dox”, or de-anonymise, the main members, not the curious onlookers.

The hacktivist is planning “further compromises of accounts associated with the SEA”, followed by some “painstaking sifting of data”.

“ I am disgusted by a group so cynically motivated to help an oppressive dictator and attempt to dress it up as hacktivism. I am also sick of their undeserved egomania and strutting,” BlackPlans added. “They are not particularly skilled, nor are they particularly clever.”

The Syrian Electronic Army continues to deny it was hacked, suggesting the data that has appeared online is fake. “All the data that was leaked can’t be proved,” a spokesperson told TechWeek. “Those hackers have been working since a long time and they have time to fake data about SEA.”

Reports have linked males named Hatem Deeb and Mohammed Osman with the group, but the Syrian Electronic Army denied them. It said none of its members use their real names.

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Thomas Brewster

Author: Thomas Brewster

Security Correspondent, TechWeekEurope
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