FBI puts a $100,000 bounty on Syrian Electronic Army hackers

FBI adds Syrian Electronic Army hackers to its most wanted list and offers a $100,000 bounty for their information

If you are following Techworm or any other security news related portal, you will probably know about Syrian Electronic Army, This hacking group which forms part of Techworm’s  top 10 hacking groups of all times, is self confessed Assad regime supporter in Syria has been at the forefront of attacking websites attached to anyone who opposed President Assad’s regime in Syria.

Lately they have been subdued but over the years, SEA as they are popularly called, have been causing serious trouble to Western media outlets like Forbes, Independent, Daily Telegraph etc. The hacking group also attacked US army online assets during its hacking operations.

But so far the SEA members had managed to evade being on US government’s radar. However, today, the FBI has filed charges against three individuals it believes were key in perpetrating SEA’s hacking attacks.

The seriousness about the cyber hacking escapades can be judged from the fact that FBI has placed two of the three men, Ahmad Umar Agha, Firas Dardar and Peter Romar, on it’s Cyber Most Wanted list with $100,000 rewards on offer for anyone who helps catch them.

The three have been charged with a range of offences, from hacking, to engaging in a hoax regarding a terrorist attack, to attempting to cause a mutiny within the U.S. armed forces.

SEA’s most daring hacking attack came after it had hacked Associated Press Twitter account. After hacking the Twitter account, the hackers tweeted that a bomb had exploded at the White House and injured President Obama. The tweet was enough for Dow Jones to collapse that day and investor wealth of almost $90 billion was wiped off the U.S. stock market.

The complaint filed today shows that SEA targeted Harvard University, Washington Post, White House, Reuters, Human Rights Watch, NPR, CNN, Onion, NBC Universal, USA Today, New York Post, NASA, and Microsoft during their hacking operations.

The complaint also notes that all the three SEA members conducted their hacking operations using Google Gmail and Facebook. They also used Facebook to coordinate and pass around stolen data. The filing noted that FBI and other U.S. agencies were able to track the alleged SEA members after acquiring court warrants to search their online accounts.

You can read the exclusive interview of SEA The Shadow, a member of Syrian Electronic Army had with Techworm here.

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