Today, Al Jerzeera's English-language website has been hacked by a group calling itself al-Rashedon, which claims to be a Syrian Loyalist organization that is angry with AJ's criticism of the Assad regime.

What the Al Jazeera homepage looks like now.
  • the web
  • What the Al Jazeera homepage looks like now.

According to a story in the Guardian:

"This is a response to your position against the people and government of Syria, especially your support of the armed terrorist groups and spreading false fabricated news," the group said in a statement blanketing "Your website has been hacked, and this is our response to you."

Al-Jazeera had not commented by the time of publication, but prominent bloggers and journalists were speculating about the motives for the attack on social media.

"I have not heard of this group before," wrote Ahmed Al Oman, a Saudi journalist and blogger, in an email to the Guardian. "Previous attacks of similar nature have been claimed by the Syrian electronic army."

Incidentally, I stumbled on this when looking for an Al Jazeera story about hackers at AntiSec posting 12 million Apple ideas—and 1 million unique IDs for Apple devices—they claim to have gotten from FBI computers. From the Google cache:

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What was the FBI doing with those IDs? Did it have legal authority to collect and hold them? From the blog of the SF Chronicle:

“It is a piece of the puzzle that suggests the extent to which the government has moved beyond targeted surveillance in particular cases to massive surveillance of all Americans,” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. ”Someone in the government should launch an investigation into this practice and find out what purpose if any the collection of this data serves.”

From AntiSec's statement:

We decided we'd help out Internet security by auditing FBI first. We all know by now they make Internet insecure on purpose to help their bottom line. But it's a shitty job, especially since they decided to hunt us down and jail our friends... You are forbidden to outsmart the system, to defy it, to work around it. In short, while you may hack for the status quo, you are forbidden to hack the status quo...

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For the last few years we have broke into systems belonging to Governments and Big corporations just to find out they are spending millions of tax dollars to spy on their citizens. They work to discredit dissenting voices. They pay their friends for overpriced and insecure networks and services.

So Al Jazeera reports that AntiSec hacks the FBI, then Al Jazeera's English site is quickly hacked by an unknown cyber-warriors. Coincidence? Or conspiiiiiracy?