The Syrian Electric Army Warns Small Businesses

The Syrian Electric Army is a group of hackers that have repeatedly embarrassed one large business or organization after another. They’re government and regime supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Despite the recent Congress battle of whether or not to side with the White House in striking Syria for using chemical weapons, one would be remiss to think that the flurry of cyber attacks by the Syrian Electric Army is not linked to Assad and his recent actions. Nevertheless, since 2011 the Syrian Electric Army has successfully hacked more than 20 businesses throughout the world.

Those businesses include:

  • September, 2011 – Harvard University
  • April, 2012 – LinkedIn
  • September, 2012 – Aljazeera
  • February, 2013 – Haaretz
  • February, 2013 – Sky News Arabia
  • March, 2013 – Qatar Foundation
  • March, 2013 – BBC
  • April, 2013 – CBS
  • April, 2013 – Associated Press
  • April, 2013 – The Guardian
  • July, 2013 – Thomas Reuters
  • August, 2013 – The New York Times
  • September, 2013 – U.S. Marine Corps

Most of their attacks included Websites, Facebook, or Twitter disruptions. Some have been ill attempts at humor, for instance, when they hacked Thomas Reuters and tweeted several political cartoons. Other attacks have caused quick and negative reactions, such as when they hacked the Associated Press. They then tweeted that there had been explosions at the White House and Barack Obama was injured, subsequently the DOW Jones dropped drastically before recovering.

All of these groups or businesses are worth millions if not billions. It’s probably safe to say that most if not all of them have some kind of Cyber Liability Coverage; however, just think if they didn’t. The financial damages could be devastating, as well as the effects on any third-party that might be involved. Despite the financial damages being devastating, most of them would’ve probably recovered because of their financial strength. Can we say the same about recovery for the average small to medium size business? Probably not. Is it likely that the Syrian Electric Army attacks your thriving internet business, no; but, there are millions of hackers and smaller groups who would love to attack your business and become your worst nightmare. According to a study by Net Diligence, in 2012 the average Cyber Liability Claim cost $3.7 million per breach.

A great risk manager can walk you through and explain the need for cyber liability coverage. Questions, concerns or feedback, please don’t hesitate to email me or leave a comment.


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