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Syrian Hackers Claim to Force US Army Offline

  • VOA News

FILE - Hackers manipulate messages and can take control of websites, as the U.S.Army said it experienced June 8, 2015. A photo illustration hints at the lurking threat.

FILE - Hackers manipulate messages and can take control of websites, as the U.S.Army said it experienced June 8, 2015. A photo illustration hints at the lurking threat.

The U.S. Army said Monday it temporarily took down its website after an element of the Army.mil service provider's content was compromised in a hacking incident.

A group aligned with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed responsibility. The so-called Syrian Electronic Army boasted of the hack on Twitter, saying, "Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting," and shared an image of an anti-U.S. message posted before the website went completely dark.

The group, which first surfaced online in 2011, has claimed responsibility for hacking a string of other targets, including U.S. Central Command, government contractors and media outlets.

The site remained offline late Monday afternoon, although the Army said it would only be temporary.

"Today, an element of the Army.mil service provider's content was compromised," the Army’s spokesman, Brigadier General Malcolm B. Frost, said in a statement. "After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily."

The attack on the U.S. Army website occurred days after the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management, which collects background information and issues security clearances for millions of of federal employees, acknowledged it was the target of a massive cyber attack.

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