Some few Belgian media outlets have said that they fell to cyber attacks. One hacker group which is thought to be based in Syria is said to have claimed responsibility to the hacking attempts and said that the hack was a retaliation of the group to the Belgian air force bombing which took place in a village which is close to Aleppo.
Some of the Belgian media websites which said they had been hacked included the De Standaard, RTBF, Het Nieuwsblad, Gazet van Antwerpen and the Het Belang van Limburg. All these media outlets reported that they had been attacked with some distributed denial of service attacks on Monday.
The DDoS attacks were successful in temporarily shutting down the sites. The attack is then said to have been claimed by A Syrian based hacking group known as Syrian Cyber Army, and the group also noted that the hack was a punishment for how the media outlets had helped in covering up the actions of the Belgian government in Aleppo.
The attack comes at a time when the Russian Defense Ministry recently announced that they had seen two Belgian F-16 jets which flew from the Jordan province had managed to hit the Hassadjek in the Aleppo province on the 18th of October. The attack is said to have culminated in the death of six civilians. However, obviously, the Belgian government refutes such accusations and says that the Russian government should take back the accusations.
The Het Nieuwsblad in particular is said to have alleged that the Russian government is the one which supports and finances the Syrian hacking group. The hacking is also said to have taken place in Turkey, a surprising emerging ally of Russia after recent world events. The federal prosecutor’s office is still yet to start an investigation in the country.
Since the civil war in Syria started, some of the Syrian hacking groups have all claimed attacks against the Western machinations, ( the media and news outlets), which mostly want to paint the rule of Syrian President, Bashar Assad in a bad picture. One of the groups includes the Syrian Electronic Army which was formed back in 2011, and has so far attacked the BBC network, Al Jazeera, and the National Public Radio and various other outlets.
Most of these groups make use of DDoS attacks, whereby they will overwhelm one server when they request access all at once leading to a crash of the server. There are also other techniques including spamming, malware, phishing and defacing websites.