Visitors who tried to get their news from the website of the well-respected independent broadcaster Al Jazeera last night have been faced with an unexpected sight: a page sporting the Syrian flag, a screenshot of Al Jazeera’s main page with the word “HACK!!” superimposed on it and the name and message of the attackers who targeted it.
The hacker group calls itself Al-Rashedon, and the message implied that Al Jazeera was attacked because of their coverage of the conflict in Syria.
After resolving the issue, the broadcaster has issued a statement explaining that its web servers and website weren’t compromised, but that a third-party US service provider that distributes the station’s online content worldwide had its security breached. In short, it was a DNS poisoning attack.
Whether or not this hacker group is an offshoot of the so-called Syrian Electronic Army is yet to be determined.
The attack comes in the wake of the repeated hacks of Reuters’ blogging platform and one of its Twitter accounts, and the posting of fake news benefiting the current Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad.