The cyber war on syria

It’s been almost eights months since activists took the streets of Syria, in an attempt to topple the regime and to bring a much needed reform and justice to the people of Syria. The protests are taking presence in a new space lately, the cyber space that is.

The hacktivist groups, Anonymous and RevoluSec both made an astonishing attack on several Syrian government websites and defaced them and put interactive maps with the names and informations of those killed at the hand of the security forces. Some of the defaced websites were offline for almost 16 hours showing the lack of care and special attentions on the part of the Syrian government.

Few weeks earlier the Syrian government was also accused of forming a group by the name “The Syrian Electronic Army” this cyber group was accused of hacking Harvard’s home page and posted pro Syrian government slogans. The group was also accused of hacking Facebook pages of Brad Pitt and Angelina Julie and others.

This new trend of activism through the use of cyber space and hacking, raises many questions regarding the ethics behind such acts . Is it okay to be a hacker as long as you are doing that in the name of activism or is it still unethical and mostly a criminal act?

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2 thoughts on “The cyber war on syria

  1. The practice of spreading propaganda about your opponent goes back centuries. I don’t want to sound hokey, but to quote Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” In other words, the more you can do to subvert and break the morale of your opponent without actually fighting, the better. It is a valid tactic that works.

    Determining if this is ethical is very subjective. Everyone is going to have differing opinions on the ethics of hacking. If it is war being waged, then hacking is just a tool in the arsenal of the opposing forces. Using this tool to effectuate Sun Tzu’s words would be a sound strategy.

    For civilians of one nation (or many nations) to be hacking another government’s websites is not good in my opinion for the simple reason that the government being hacked will lay the blame at the government(s) of the hacking group’s. Let the appropriate course of action take place through the appropriate channels (i.e. a diplomatic or military solution).

  2. I think your point regarding foreign interference is valid and it’s probably going to be used as a way to blame someone else by the Syrian government. However, based on some reading and research I did, I think the hacking group used elements inside Syria in mounting the attack.   

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