Friday, May 3, 2013

 

Pro-government youths launch cyber warfare to defend Syria


DAMASCUS, -- As the Syrian army has been involved in a tough war against rebels nationwide for about two years, some pro-government youths decided to hurl themselves into the fight with their laptops.

Being bound together by a common goal of "defending our country against the bloody media that keep spreading fabrications," members of the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) say they have started to fight since the eruption of Syrian crisis.

The SEA recently gained their fame after launching hack attacks on a series of websites of major western media outlets, including the BBC, the Associated Press (AP), the Guardian, according to statements from the group.

"We target the media that lies and publishes fake and fabricated news about Syria," a member of the SEA told Xinhua via email.

Last month, the SEA said it succeeded in hijacking AP's main Twitter account, with 1.9 million followers, and posted a false tweet about an explosion in the White House that injured U.S. President Barack Obama, which almost crashed the U.S. stocks as 130 billion dollars were wiped out.

While several western reports speculated that the SEA comprises hackers from the Alawite minority, the ruling sect of Syria, and that those young men are backed by the government, the hacker contended that "we are not supported or funded by the government or anyone."

"It's our duty to defend our country and we don't need any support for that," he noted.

Most of the electronic army's members are university students, the hacker said. "They are all Syrians."

The 19-year-old student said he is looking forward to studying IT next year.

"I joined the SEA like all the Syrians who joined us; to defend our country against the media campaign," he recountered.

Since the beginning of Syrian crisis, the electronic warfare has started between those who support the government and the pro- opposition activists, who have been "reporting" news events on its websites or by apps and frequently cited by media outlets due to the difficulty of accessing to the scene of events.

The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the country is subject to a conspiracy backed by a "seditious" media campaign.

President Bashar al-Assad lauded the work of the SEA, saying " they have proven themselves to be an active force."

"There is the electronic army, which has been a real army in virtual reality," Assad noted.

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