The U.S. Marine Corps would like to make it clear that the pro-government Syrian Electronic Army did not infiltrate its website when it replaced the text of Marines.com with a banner calling on members of the corps to defect rather than invade Syria. “The site itself was not hacked but … visitors were redirected,” The Marines said in a statement, according to The Wall Street Journal. Whatever the method, the effect of the attack was to show visitors to the site a photo of people in military fatigues, holding banners saying things like “I will not fight for Al Qaeda.” The accompanying message urged Marines: “Refuse your orders and concentrate on the real reason every soldier joins their military, to defend their homeland. You’re more than welcome to fight alongside our army rather than against it.”
The Marines’ site is back to normal as of Monday evening, and joins the likes of Twitter and the New York Times as victims of the SEA’s hacking. Attacking Marines.com doesn’t seem terribly damaging strategically, as it’s basically just an electronic recruiting brochure. Still, it’s embarrassing since the corps may at some point in the not-too-distant future be called upon to fight the Syrian Army. Sounds like they could use a few good IT guys.