The Syrian Electronic Army rose to notoriety throughout 2013 after hacking a number of high-profile Twitter accounts and websites, including those of The New York Times, the Associated Press, and the Guardian. Though the group claims to be hacking in support of Syria's Assad regime, its hacks often range from oddly juvenile announcements ("Exclusive! Justin Bieber to E! online: I’m a gay") to basic vandalism ("Syrian Electronic Army Was Here"), with the group only occasionally acting in a more seriously disruptive way or obviously in support of Assad.
Many of the SEA's hacks have come from fairly basic techniques like phishing, allowing the group to break into these organizations' accounts and websites simply by gaining an employee's username and password. The SEA has done more than basic vandalism on occasion though. After hacking the AP's Twitter account, it published a false tweet about an explosion at the White House. In other instances, it hacked Viber and Tango — two chat apps used by rebels in and around Syria — and claimed it would hand their databases of phone numbers over to the Syrian government.