News websites, including CBC hacked; Syrian Electronic Army takes responsibility

The Syrian Electronic Army has taken responsibility for hacking a number of international news agencies' websites Thursday morning, including the CBC. Michael Smith/Newsmakers/File

TORONTO – The Syrian Electronic Army has taken responsibility for hacking a number of international news agencies’ websites Thursday morning, including the CBC. According to reports on Twitter, many websites were targeted including the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, CNBC, the Telegraph and the NHL’s website.

Users attempting to access the websites early Thursday reported seeing a notification reading, “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA),” alongside the hacker group’s logo.

“Happy Thanksgiving, hope you didn’t miss us! The press: Please don’t pretend #ISIS are civilians,” read a tweet posted by the hacker group around 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Syrian Electronic Army is a pro-government group that works to attack those it considers “hostile” for being sympathetic to Syria’s rebels.

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The group uses social media platforms to coordinate spam attacks, often taking to Facebook to post pro-government messages, and has been known to target Syrian opposition websites and the websites of public figures who publicly support the opposition. SEA often targets Western media.

READ MORE: What is the Syrian Electronic Army?

Since forming in 2011, the group has taken credit for attacks on the New York Times, Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, 60 Minutes, CBS News, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera English and the BBC.

“Thanks for your notes about the hack on our site. This is affecting many news sites around the world and we are working on a fix,” read a tweet from the CBC News account sent at 8 a.m. ET.

The CBC’s website appears to be running normally again.

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