The Washington Post’s mobile website was brought down on Thursday evening, with the Syrian Mobile Army claiming responsibility for the attack.
Visitors to the Washington Post on mobile phones were served a pop-up message saying, “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army”, the state-sponsored hacking group which has targeted media companies, and others, critical of the Assad regime.
Other pop-up messages included “US govt is training the terrorist to kill more Syrians” and “The media is always lying”.
“The Washington Post’s mobile homepage and some section fronts on the mobile site were redirected to a site that claimed to be run by the Syrian Electronic Army. The situation has been resolved and no customer information was impacted,” the paper’s chief information officer said in a statement.
The outage was only brief, lasting slightly more than 30 minutes, but represented a far more serious breach than the hacking group’s typical targets such as social media accounts or ad servers. According to Motherboard, the attack took control of the paper’s content delivery network, and redirected visitors to a different server.