The international news website GlobalPost is the latest target of the Syrian Electronic Army, the online group that supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, the site's CEO said Wednesday.
GlobalPost's site was only partially restored as of mid-Wednesday morning after the Syrian Electronic Army "deleted all the content" at about 3:30 a.m., CEO Philip Balboni said.
"We have back-up digital files, so we're working now to restore the content, but it was significant," he said.
The Syrian Electronic Army first hacked into GlobalPost — a partner of NBC News' — on Monday afternoon, Balboni said, taking over the site's Twitter account for several hours as well. In both attacks, he said, the Syrian Electronic Army identified itself through online files as the hacker; one tweet read, "Think twice before you publish untrusted informations about Syrian Electronic Army."
The FBI is involved in investigating the attack and has advised GlobalPost on additional security precautions, Balboni said.
The hack is just barely over a month after The New York Times' website was toppled, also believed to be the work of the Syrian Electronic Army.
The Syrian Electronic Army has also claimed credit for attacking other news sites in the past, including The Washington Post, Thomson Reuters, and the Twitter feeds of various U.K. news outlets, including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, and ITV, also an NBC News partner.
Balboni said he was not sure what prompted the hack, but cited GlobalPost's extensive reporting on the Syrian war and the Syrian Electronic Army and its reporter who has been a prisoner in Syria as possible items that attracted the attention of the online group.
"We have been deeply engaged in covering the civil war in Syria for more than two years and we are very proud of our reporting and the brave individuals who have contributed to it, including our James Foley, who remains a prisoner in Syria 11 months since his capture.
"No one likes to suffer damage because of what we do professionally, but we have no intention of stepping back from coverage of this tragic war," he said.
The hack comes as international disarmament experts arrived in Damascus to begin overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons amid the civil war there.
First published October 2 2013, 7:50 AM