SHAFAQNA – A worldwide hacking operation hit major companies and media websites overnight, including London’s Daily Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times and Fairfax-owned stuff.co.nz, but no personal data was compromised.
Gigya, a third-party United States company which provides commenting and sharing services, had its domain registrar breached, which resulted in several websites pointing to a new website, operated by the Syrian Electronic Army, when people tried to access them.
Other sites affected include Forbes, The Independent, The Chicago Tribune, Italy’s La Repubblica and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Companies including Dell, Microsoft, Ferrari and humanitarian organisation Unicef were also targeted.
Users attempting to access certain parts of the attacked websites found a message that read “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)” and were then redirected to the group’s logo, an image of an eagle bearing the Syrian flag and a message in Arabic.
A Twitter account affiliated with the Syrian group posted an image on Thursday that appeared to show it accessed the GoDaddy account of gigya.com, a company that helps businesses identify those who visit their websites.
Gigya said a breach at its domain registrar, GoDaddy, resulted in traffic to its site being redirected, but that the problem had since been fixed.
The company’s chief executive Patrick Salyer said at no point was any user data compromised.
GoDaddy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Stuff.co.nz editor Patrick Crewdson said users could be assured their personal information was safe.
“We treat any breach of services we use very seriously. We have no reason to believe any user information was compromised, and we’re working with Gigya to make sure such a breach doesn’t happen again.”
The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed to be behind a number of high-profile cyber-attacks over recent years.
The group is a hacker collective that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In January this year, the group claimed it had temporarily compromised the Twitter account of US President Barack Obama and also claimed to have hack CNN, PayPal and eBay.
Source : Stuff.co.nz, with Reuters