PayPal and eBay hit in latest Syrian Electronic Army attacks


The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has followed up its recent spate of attacks on Microsoft by hacking the UK home pages of eBay and PayPal on Saturday night.

The hacking collective reportedly redirected site visitors to a separate web page, which featured the familiar "Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army" message, along with the words "Long live Syria" and "F**k the United States Government."

The SEA confirmed its involvement via a post on Twitter, but its @official_SEA16 account has since been suspended and the message removed.

In a series of posts before the account was shutdown, the group said the attack was in sympathy to Syrians with no access to online payments.

"If your PayPal account is down for a few minutes, think about Syrians who were denied online payments for more than [three] years," the tweet stated.

The group also used the social networking site to post screenshots depicting the control panels for eBay and PayPal's French operations, but no user data is thought to have been taken.

Anuj Nayar, senior director of global initiatives at PayPal, confirmed the attack in a statement to tech site Mashable.

"For a brief period today, a very limited number of people visiting certain PayPal and eBay marketing pages in the UK, France and India were redirected," said Nayar.

"The issue was quickly detected and resolved. No customer data was accessed by these redirects, and no customer accounts were affected.

"We take the security and privacy of our customers very seriously and are actively investigating the reasons behind the temporary redirects."

The attack on PayPal and eBay comes hot on the heels of the SEA's targeted campaign against Microsoft, which saw hackers attack various Microsoft-owned web resources last month.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.