US Army Disables Site Following Hack

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Pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the hack and defacement of the Army’s portal

The US Army has temporarily disabled its website, army.mil, following a hack claimed by supporters of the Syrian government.

The compromise took place on Monday, according to the Army, and as of Tuesday morning BST the website was still inaccessible, with requests timing out.

‘Preventive measures’

Computer data security concept © Amy Walters - Fotolia“After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily,” Army head of public affairs Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost told a news conference.

He said the attack had affected “an element of the Army.mil service provider’s content”, and that the site was disabled in order to ensure no data had been compromised.

The Syrian Electronic Army, a group that supports Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on its Twitter feed, stating, “The #SEA hacks the official website of the US Army and leaves several messages on it.”

Screen-shots of the defaced website show messages urging the US to stop training Syrian rebels. “Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting,” one message states.

The group became known for high-profile attacks on Western media publishers, including a hack last year that affected the websites of The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, OK Magazine and The London Evening Standard, as well as The New York Daily News and a number of other sites.

Its previous targets have included The Guardian, CNN, The Washington Post, and Reuters.

Government targeted

Last week the US government said Chinese hackers had compromised federal government computers and may have accessed the records of four million employees. China denied involvement and called the allegations “not responsible, and counterproductive”.

Five months ago, US Central Command shut down its YouTube and Twitter accounts after they were compromised by attackers who left messages in support of Islamic State.

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