Combatants on both sides of Syria's domestic conflict have resorted to cyberwarfare to reach their goals, and a new hack has targeted Al Jazeera's SMS news service, giving subscribers fake breaking news updates via text message. As Doha News reports, a group calling itself the "Syrian Electronic Army" has claimed responsibility for the hack, which sent out messages claiming that an assassination attempt had been made on Qatar's prime minister. Al Jazeera confirmed the hack on Twitter, and said that their system had been compromised by hackers who were spreading fake news.
While the hack was performed on a news agency outside of Syria, it's not the first time pro-Syrian forces have meddled with news agencies: as the Financial Times reported in April, the Syrian Electronic Army has been waging a cyberwar against Qatar and news organizations like Al Jazeera for their critical stance of the Syrian government — but so far those hacks have been targeted at things like websites and Twitter accounts. While the United States grapples with its own cybersecurity politics, many references to hacking in the US have been theoretical — but in Syria (and elsewhere), cyberwar is a reality that continues to unfold in the public eye.