Defense

special report

Syria's Digital Conflict

As the United States determines its response to the escalating conflict in Syria, cyberspace is playing a larger role than it has in the past. The Pentagon is bracing for more attacks by the Syrian Electronic Army, a hacktivist group backing the Syrian government. And a U.S. response may very well involve cyber offenses, as well. 

Syrian President Bashar Assad
Syrian President Bashar Assad // Vahid Salemi/AP File Photo
Demonstrators rally at the U.S. Capitol to protest spying on Americans by the National Security Agency.

Snowden: NSA Caused Massive Internet Blackout in Syria

August 13, 2014 In a new interview, the fugitive leaker claims the spy agency accidentally took down Syria’s Internet during its prolonged civil war.

Obama Twitter Account, Campaign Group's Emails Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army

October 28, 2013 Pro-regime hackers say the U.S. president's terrorism capabilities 'are quite high.'

Assessing the Capabilities of the Syrian Electronic Army

October 23, 2013 Experts gauge the damage the group could cause.

How a Simple Browser Extension Could Help You Ward Off the Syrian Electronic Army

September 3, 2013 Software protects against phishing scams.

Pentagon Planned to Secure Web Domains Before Syrians Hijacked Marine Corps Site

September 3, 2013 Pro-regime hacktivists apparently redirected visitors to a letter urging troops not to strike.

Will Social Media Get Obama Off the Hook on Syria?

August 30, 2013 U.S. intel report relies heavily on messages from the public and on videos to overcome America's credibility problem.

How the Syrian Electronic Army “Hacked” the New York Times, Twitter and the Huffington Post

August 28, 2013 Unlike previous attacks by the SEA, it seems more likely that this time, the SEA didn’t manage to filch passwords from anyone within the Times itself.

Meet the Hacktivist Who Wants to Warn Syrians About Incoming Missiles

July 2, 2013 A new service provides an alert system for SCUDs fired by the Syrian government. Assad is already trying to take it down.

Digital Innovations Help Deliver News Under Repressive Regimes

June 14, 2013 Broadcasting Board of Governors showcases tech to bypass foreign censors.

Syria's Internet Is Offline Again

May 15, 2013 For the second time in as many weeks, the Internet usage in Syria disappeared mysteriously.

Army Awards $156.6 Million Anti-Nerve Gas Agent Contract

May 13, 2013 ‘Bioscavenger’ agent won’t be fielded for six years.

 A rebel sniper aims at Syrian army positions in the Aleppo Jedida district, Syria.

New Tool Could Free Syrian Rebels From Reliance on State Internet

May 8, 2013 The Commotion project also kept some Brooklynites online during Hurricane Sandy when larger Internet providers were overloaded.

How Twitter Accounts—Like the AP’s—Get Hacked

April 23, 2013 Human error is often at fault for these events.

In this Monday, March 18, 2013, citizen journalism image Syrian citizens stand on rubble of houses that were destroyed due to Syrian forces airstrikes.

Who's Using Chemical Weapons in Syria Now?

March 19, 2013 Opposition forces and the Syrian regime agree that there was an attack in the dangerous Aleppo province involving chemical weapons.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is Emir of Qatar. He may be a target of Syrian hackers.

Syrian Electronic Army’s Twitter Hacking Campaign Racks Up Another Victory

March 1, 2013 Qatar Foundation’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are the newest frontier for the conflict.

Pro-Assad Hackers Take Over AFP's Twitter with Syrian Propaganda Photos

February 26, 2013 The account is an odd choice for a hack, since the account has about 3,600 followers.

First U.S. patriot battery goes live in Turkey

February 6, 2013 Four other Patriot batteries supplied by the Netherlands and Germany are already operating under NATO command and control in the nation's southwest.

Evidence that Syria used chemical weapons is stacking up

January 23, 2013 Reports suggest the Assad regime has already crossed Obama's "red line," an offense offensive enough to spur a U.S. military intervention.

Free Syrian Army fighters

U.S. lawmaker demands action to secure alleged Syrian uranium

January 15, 2013 Experts have suggested the Bashar Assad regime might have amassed up to 50 metric tons of the substance.

Cybersecurity is one of five key national security issues in 2013

December 28, 2012 Get ready for another turbulent year.

A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position close to a military base, near Azaz, Syria.

What happens if the Syrian rebels steal Assad's chemical weapons?

December 17, 2012 The Pentagon has drafted up several plans for how to deal with different scenarios involving the weapons.

Video: Syrian rebels now have a tank powered by a Playstation controller

December 10, 2012 The Sham II was assembled out of spare parts over the course of a month/

What's your country's risk of Internet blackout?

December 3, 2012 Good news for the U.S. is really bad news for Syria. And Libya. And ... Greenland.

Destroyed buildings in a rebel-controlled area of Aleppo, Syria.

See how Syria's Internet disappeared

November 30, 2012 The Syrian government claims that terrorists have cut the major cables supplying internet connections to the country.

Syrian citizens walk in a destroyed street that was attacked on Wednesday by Syrian forces warplanes.

The Internet is down in Syria

November 29, 2012 More than 90 percent of the networks in the country are out.

Syrian rebel fighters take cover in southeast Aleppo.

Syria's digital proxy war

November 1, 2012 Iran and the United States are squaring off in a life-or-death battle for information.

Syrian government enlists text message spam

September 27, 2012 A message was sent out to phones across the country on reportedly the bloodiest day of Syria's 18-month civil war.