Syrian Hacker Army Calls Marines ‘Brothers’ in Web Probe

A website for the U.S. Marine Corps was hacked today with a posting attributed to the “Syrian Electronic Army” that criticized President Barack Obama and called American soldiers brothers of the Syrian army.

The message said Marines should be allies with forces fighting for Syria and showed five people dressed in army fatigues holding signs that said they wouldn’t fight for al-Qaeda.

“Obama is a traitor who wants to put your lives in danger to rescue al-Qaeda insurgents,” according to the posting on the website, marines.com. “Marines, please take a look at what your comrades think about Obama’s alliance with al-Qaeda against Syria.”

The site “itself was not compromised or ‘hacked,’” spokesman Captain Eric Flanagan said in an e-mail statement on behalf of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command that operates the website. “It was redirected for a limited amount of hours overnight” and no confidential or personal information “was put at risk,” he said.

Flanagan said that at this point the command can’t confirm who was responsible for redirecting the site.

The message has now been removed and the website has returned to normal. The hack follows those on the New York Times and the Twitter Inc. accounts for the Financial Times and ITV Plc by a group using the Syrian Electronic Army name.

Syrian rebels today urged President Bashar al-Assad’s officers to defect, seeking to swing momentum in the country’s civil war during a lull created by Obama’s decision to consult Congress on military strikes. Obama’s top aides have embarked on a campaign to win support for an attack on Syria.

The site is separate from the .mil Web address that’s the Marine Corps official website for information, Flanagan said.

The .mil site wasn’t targeted, according to Flanagan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net; Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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