The FBI has the Syrian Electronic Army in its sights

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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@gcluley

The FBI has added the notorious Syrian Electronic Army to its “wanted list”, issuing an advisory warning of the group’s hacking activities that have embarrassed a number of media organisations in recent months.

FBI advisory on Syrian Electronic Army

The Syrian Electronic army, a pro-regime hacker group that emerged during Syrian anti-government protests in 2011, has been compromising high-profile media outlets in an effort to spread pro-regime propaganda. The SEA’s primary capabilities include spearphishing, web defacements, and hijacking social media accounts to spread propaganda. Over the past several months, the SEA has been highly effective in compromising multiple high-profile media outlets.

The unclassified memo, obtained and shared online by Matthew Keys, refers to some of the group’s hacking activities – including a breach of Associated Press’s Twitter account that spread a story about Barack Obama being injured in an explosion at the White House.

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That fake news story resulted in a brief drop in the Dow Jones stock market.

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The Syrian Electronic Army is playing an increasingly dangerous game, and its antics have caught the attention of the FBI.

One has to wonder whether recent investigations into the alleged true identities of alleged SEA members might result in action being taken against them.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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