The Anonymous hacking group has added the website of the Syrian Ministry of Defense to its ever-lengthening list of victims, defacing it with a message in support of the anti-Government insurrection.
Overnight, visitors to the website were greeted with the logo of the Anonymous collective plus links to videos showing protests, with a message in Arab and English.
"To the Syrian people: The world stands with you against the brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Know that time and history are on your side,” it opened.
"To the Syrian military: You are responsible for protecting the Syrian people, and anyone who orders you to kill women, children, and the elderly deserves to be tried for treason,” continued a later passage.
By lunchtime on Monday (BST) the site had become unavailable, which suggests either that the site has become overloaded or has been taken offline by the Syrian authorities.
Supporters of the insurrection will claim the successful hack as a propaganda coup although the Syrian regime and its leadership have long since stopped worrying how the outside world views it crackdown on anti-Government protests. The Anonymous hack tells us more about the insecurity of websites that offers convincing evidence of Syrian embarrassment.
“Attacks like this are effectively equivalent to graffiti on the wall of a building, albeit a building that you would normally expect to be better protected against such defacement,” said Graham Cluley of security company Sophos, one of a number of companies that took snapshots of the site while it was still available.
Anonymous - and assumed spin-off LulzSec - have successfully attacked so many websites it is becoming easier to list those it hasn’t tried to undermine. It’s an eclectic and sometimes eccentric list.
This extends a list that also includes security company HB Gary, The Turkish Government, NATO, the Arizona Police, the Government of Malaysia, The Church of Scientology, Sony, PayPal and Mastercard, and many more.