The Syrian Electronic Army hacked US President Barack Obama’s nonprofit website Organizing for Action last night, sending reverberations throughout the President’s social media presence. The SEA proceeded to hack into the President’s campaign website as well as OFA’s custom URL shortener. It then began posting pro-SEA URL redirects to the President’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, among other politically motivated mischief. As of this afternoon, most of the fallout has been cleaned up.
The SEA used the OFA URL shortener to post links to various YouTube videos supporting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The President’s Twitter and Facebook accounts themselves were not hacked, but all links posted to those accounts redirected to the YouTube videos. The two social media giants confirmed this on their end.
The campaign website was knocked offline by the hacks but was retaken in a few hours. The other hacks lasted well into today. The typed content in the President’s social media posts were not affected, just the URLs. The SEA today also claimed to have hacked the email account of someone who works with Organizing for Action. They backed up this claim with a screenshot of her opened Gmail account.
The SEA is well established as a serial hacking organization that targets high-profile social media accounts. Among its victims over the past year are the Associated Press, CNN, the Guardian, the Financial Times, CBS, and scores of organizations and individuals. The AP hack in particular carried noticeable economic consequences: It plummeted the Dow Jones Industrial Average 130 points for a few minutes.
Check out just a snippet of the Syrian Electronic Army’s rap sheet in the timeline below.