Parallel cyber-war in Syria


As the Syrian conflict continues to make headlines, another battle between government supporters and opponents is going on in cyber-space. Users are not only expressing their opinions on instant-messaging forums, but pro- and anti-regime hacker groups are involved in a fight for the control of information caches. Abdul Hak, opposition hacktivist said: “It’s a real war between us. Sometimes they win a battle, sometimes they lose.”

Last week, regime opponents managed to hack the pro-regime TV station Addounia and to reveal the email correspondence of government advisers. Like the ‘real-world’ opposition forces, the cyber-activists are a relatively disparate group. Those based in the country are said to try to sabotage government infrastructure by hardware hacking activities. Pro-government hacktivists with professional training, however, recently launched cyber-attacks on Harvard University and Al Jazeera and used Twitter as a tool for counterbalancing opposition activities.

In April 2011, the SDA hosted an evening debate on “Controlling the internet”, featuring Robert Madelin, European Commission Director General for Information Society and Media, which took a special look at the role of ‘Web 2.0’ for the Arab revolutions. Download the report here.

The Security Jam 2012 will dedicate forums to the cyber-challenge and transnational and hybrid threats. Read more about the Jam and register here for this global online brainstorm!