Syrian rebels go cyber, launch first online attack against Lebanese government

Jun 06, 2013 at 12:48 PM ET

The Syrian rebels — who recently suffered an enormous setback in the city of Qusayr at the hands of Hezbollah and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — launched a cyber attack on the Lebanese government on Thursday in the first significant hack by members of the Syrian opposition. A group calling itself “Syrian Revolution — The Electronic Wing” hacked into an official Lebanese government site and posted a defiant message.

“We hacked into the web site due to the involvement of the party of the devil [Hezbollah] on Syrian soil to fight our children,” the message said. “They conduct massacres and fight against our children and innocent Syrians.”

The group also claims it hacked into several Facebook pages over the past few months belonging to the Syrian regime. It uses the same image in every hack. The centerpiece of its logo is a photograph of Hamze Ali Alkhatib, a 13-year old boy who was killed in the early stages of the civil war and has become a symbol for the opposition. A Facebook page in his name has more than half a million supporters.

Hackers supporting Assad’s government have been much more active in the conflict than opposition groups. The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has reportedly launched 11 campaigns targeting the Syrian rebels. The SEA has also taken credit for attacks on Western media including the Associated Press and Britain’s ITV.