Syrian Electronic Army steps up attacks on opposition Facebook pages

Syrian Electronic Army steps up attacks on opposition Facebook pages

The Syrian Electronic Army, a hacking group affiliated with Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has over the past three days launched an intense attack on Facebook pages affiliated with the Syrian opposition, according to a new report from the SecDev Foundation’s Syria Digital Security Project.

The targeted Facebook pages are aimed at disseminating information about the ongoing civil war in Syria and include pages based in Qusayr, which is currently witnessing some of the most intense fighting in the conflict, and in Homs, a perennial flashpoint. The Syrian army, with extensive support from Hezbollah militants, is reportedly waging a brutal campaign to reclaim control of Qusayr.

In total, the Syrian Electronic Army has launched 11 campaigns over three days —  in what the Syria Digital Security Project calls "a dramatic increase over previous efforts." (The image above shows guidelines on the Syrian Electronic Army’s Facebook page for how to report the existence of opposition pages.)

The Syrian Electronic Army has made a name for itself by hacking Western media outlets — including the AP, NPR, and, inexplicably, the Onion. But as today’s report indicates, their activities also target domestic groups looking to spread information about the ongoing conflict.