Harvard University’s home page was hacked Monday morning by a group calling themselves the “Syrian Electronic Army.”
The hackers, sympathizers with the Syrian regime, replaced photos on the page with an image of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad with the tagline “Syrian Electronic Army Were Here.”
“The University’s homepage was compromised by an outside party this morning,” University spokesperson John D. Longbrake confirmed in a statement. “We took down the site for several hours in order to restore it. The attack appears to have been the work of a sophisticated individual or group.”
The hackers describe themselves as “a group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria,” on their website.
In a Youtube video linked from its website, the group showed images of the University's hacked website.
“The site has been breached to spread our message even if illegally,” the hackers wrote in their video.
The video threatened America for its support of anti-regime protests in Syria.
“Do you support the war on Syria? If you are you, as well as the following Syria’s population of 23 million people. This means 23 million mobile bomb. Imagine what we could do.”
Protests against al-Assad’s one-party rule have wracked Syria for months, and international human rights organization have condemned the Syrian regime for its widespread use of violence in attempting to suppress the protests.
—Staff writer Tara W. Merrigan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.