Outbrain hacked: CNN, Time and Washington Post redirect users to Syrian Electronic Army site


The Syrian Electronic Army has done it again this time Washington Post, Time and CNN have been targeted by Syrian hackers by breaching the internal systems of Outbrain, a content recommendation service whose widget helps online publishers increase web traffic.

The Washington Post, CNN and Time are the affected news websites. The visitors of certain articles have been redirected to the official Syrian Electronic Army website and the hackers have been competent through compromising the systems of Outbrain.


In a statement of Outbrain claimed that Outbrain has been attacked earlier by the Syrian Electronic Army and Outbrain has become a social engineering victim.

The CEO of Outbrain sent a phishing email on the evening of 14 August to all employees of Outbrain. The employees of Outbrain were asked a question to feedback their documentation to view the information. Moreover, it was also stated that the hackers have been able to hijack the email system of Outbrain and recognized the documentation to access to important internal systems when employees disclosed their information.


The admin console of Outbrain, which has been blamed by the Syrian Electronic Army to tag the suggestions exhibited through the widget of Outbrain as “Hacked by SEA”, has been hacked by the hackers.

To counter the attack the company has shut down its systems. However, recently the service has again restarted and the network of Outbrain is supposedly protected. Moreover, according to hijackers they planned to hijack The New York Times when the service was shut down.

After the event, a statement has been published by the representative of Washington Post that the Syrian Electronic Army has been successful to hijack some of the articles of Washington Post through Outbrain. Washington Post also disclosed that over the weekend it was also attacked by the hackers. You can also recall, earlier this week the Twitter accounts of New York Post were hijacked. In addition, the account of Jason Reid a columnist of Washington Post was also against hacking. The effort by attempting to obtain password information was the reason for the incident.

This is not the first time when Syrian Electronic Army has hacked Twitter account of big fish media giant, in past official twitter accounts of UK based The Telegraph NewsITV News LondonFinancial Times, twitter account of The Onion Satirical NewspaperE!Online, 11 account of Guardian NewspaperThe Associated Press,CBSBBC NetworkGerman Broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s (DW) TwitterHuman Rights WatchFrance 24 Arabia and France 24 ObserversQatar Foundation’s TwitterAFP Photo, Sky News Arabia and Thomson Reuters were hacked and used by the hackers.


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