Hackers briefly defaced Harvard University’s website yesterday, replacing the home page of America’s oldest university with an image of Syria’s president, Bashar el-Assad, together with a message accusing the United States of supporting the uprising against his regime and threatening retaliation by Syria’s “23 million mobile bomb.’’
John Longrake, a Harvard spokesman, said the morning attack appeared to be the work of “a sophisticated individual or group.’’ Harvard took down its hacked website for several hours to fix it.
The hackers posted a message saying, “Syrian Electronic Army Were Here,’’ a reference to a group that appears to support the Syrian government group and has mounted electronic attacks on opposition figures and their perceived backers. Hackers also posted an image of Assad clad in military uniform, in front of a Syrian flag.
The attack occurred the same day that two online activist groups said they hacked several official Syrian websites in the latest tactic to oppose the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on opposition supporters.