US law enforcement has charged three suspects believed to be part of the hacktivist group the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).
On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed in two unsealed criminal complaints the three Syrian nationals have been charged with multiple offences related to computer hacking.
In addition, two fugitives have been added to the FBI’s “Most wanted” list, according to a DoJ press release. However, they are believed to be in Syria and out of reach of law enforcement.
SEA first surfaced in 2011. The group claims to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and according to US prosecutors, the suspects are all members of the SEA and would systematically target any organisation deemed in opposition to the Assad regime.
SEA has been linked to the defacement of websites and damaging computer systems and networks including those of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and US Marine Corps and military. In addition, the hacktivist group took responsibility for a hoax bomb threat message sent from the compromised Twitter account of The Associated Press.
More security news
- Containers or virtual machines: Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you
- Justice Dept. indicts 12 Russian spies over 2016 DNC hack
- Russia: We want volunteers to help us censor the internet
- Tech giants, civil liberties coalition urges Congress to pass email privacy law
- Thousands of Mega logins dumped online, exposing user files
In the US District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, 22-year-old Ahmad Umar Agha, also known as “The Pro,” and Firas “The Shadow” Dardar, 27, were charged with engaging in a terrorism hoaxes, attempting to incite mutiny in US armed forces, unauthorised access to and damage to computer systems, access device fraud and the “illicit possession of authentication features.”
Dadar and another suspect, 36-year-old Peter Romar, were also charged with unauthorized access to and damage of computer systems, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, violations of the Syrian Sanctions Regulations and unlawful communication.
Arrest warrants have been issued for each suspect.
While the SEA insists its cyberactivities are conducted in support of the Syrian president, Assistant Attorney General Carlin disagrees, claiming the group also uses extortion to “line their own pockets” at the expense of innocents across the world — a case which reveals the line between your average homegrown hacker, politics and national security is becoming “increasingly blurry.”
In relation to the two additional Syrian nationals now wanted by US law enforcement, the FBI is offering a reward of $100,000 for information leading to their capture.
Assistant Director in Charge Paul Abbate commented:
“These three members of the Syrian Electronic Army targeted and compromised computer systems in order to provide support to the Assad regime as well as for their own personal monetary gain through extortion.
As a result of a thorough cyber investigation, FBI agents and analysts identified the perpetrators and now continue to work with our domestic and international partners to ensure these individuals face justice in the United States.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the NASA Office of the Inspector General, Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security and other law enforcement agencies.
Read on: Top picks
- How to increase your Bitcoin mining profit by 30 percent with less effort
- SMS Android malware roots and hijacks your device – unless you are Russian
- Bug bounties: Which companies offer researchers cash?
- Shodan: The IoT search engine privacy messenger
- What happens when you leak stolen bank data to the Dark Web?
- Feds file charges against Syrian Electronic Army, add them to Most Wanted list
- Mac Trojan Linked to Syrian Electronic Army Shuttered
- Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Into Viber Support Website
- Follow-up: Syrian Electronic Army responds to attack article
- Syrian Electronic Army Targets Washington Post, CNN, and Time
- Syrian Electronic Army Shanghais Microsoft's Twitter Account, Blog
- Syrian Electronic Army hacks Microsoft's Office Blogs site
- Inside an attack by the Syrian Electronic Army
- Syrian Electronic Army posts hacking message on several news sites
- How to use Syrian Electronic Army attacks to improve security awareness
- Syrian Electronic Army Surprised Forbes With Hacking Into One Million User Accounts
- Syrian Electronic Army Hacks New York Times And Twitter And More. How?
- CNN Social Accounts Hacked By Syrian Electronic Army
- The Syrian Electronic Army wins again as 1 million Forbes accounts breached
- Office.com Defaced by Syrian Electronic Army
- Syrian Hackers Attempt PsyOps Campaign Against U.S. Marine Corps
- Alleged Syrian hacker is extradited to the US on extortion charges
- Syrian Hackers Retaliate, Deface Anonymous' Social Network
- Army intelligence analyst allegedly carried classified U.S. combat video out on CD
- Kelli Bordeaux Murder Trial; Suspect Could Face Death Penalty
US charges three Syrian Electronic Army suspects have 777 words, post on www.zdnet.com at March 23, 2016. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.