A few days ago, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacked several government sites owned by Saudi Arabia. On its usual announcement after the hacking attack, the notorious group of hackers warned that it would continue launching attacks on cyberspace, especially against Microsoft Corp.
Now, the hackers have fulfilled their promise. For the third time this month, SEA has again hi-jacked a Website owned by the global software giant. This time, the hacktivists targeted the newly redesigned and rolled out Office Blogs.
The hacking group defaced the new Website last January 20, Monday. It left the message “hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army” on the screen, which lasted shortly. But Microsoft immediately cleared the site and reposted it afterwards.
Boasting about attacks
As expected, SEA boasted about its latest successful attack. It used its Twitter account to do so. On that same day, the group posted screenshots of the Website’s new admin page as well as the old Telligent-run admin. The site now runs on WordPress.
The posted images suggest that the hacktivists have gained access to Microsoft Corp’s Website even before the company decided to switch content management system (CMS). One of the group’s tweets gave a clue on how it was done. In a tweet, it said that changing CMS would actually not spare Microsoft because SEA hacked some of the company’s unsuspecting employees before that.
In a statement, Microsoft simply confirmed the attack. It said that a targeted cyber attack affected the Office blog but just temporarily. The company added that the account details have been reset. It also assured the public that no sensitive customer data was ever compromised.
About the hacktivists
As mentioned, this is the third time for SEA to hack Microsoft. The first was on January 1, when most Microsoft employees are on New Year’s Day vacation. The group seized control of Skype’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and even the company’s blogs.
SEA is a notorious group of so-called ‘hacktivists’ or activists who launch their protests online. It first made its presence felt in September 2012. Back then, SEA was protesting over how YouTube and several other Western sites posted the film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which became controversial for its anti-Islam content. In 2013, the group hacked a number of Western sites, including those owned by the Financial Times, the New York Times, BBC, and The Guardian.