Several websites of major companies in media and retail were the target of a worldwide hacking operation that is attributed to the Syrian Electronic Army.

Included in the diverse array of websites include The Guardian, Forbes,, The Chicago Tribune, and CNBC. The websites of Microsoft, Dell, Ferrari and UNICEF were also targeted by the attack.

Gigya, a third-party company from the United States that assists over 700 companies in connecting with their customers through the capabilities of social media, revealed that the SEA breached its domain registrar.

The security breach allowed the SEA to redirect visitors of the affected websites to a new website that is operated by the hacking group. When users attempted to access certain pages of the affected websites, a message that says "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)" pops up, and then the user is redirected to a logo of the group, which is an eagle with the flag of Syria and Arabic text.

An account on Twitter that is connected to the SEA uploaded a picture that showed it is accessing Gigya's account on GoDaddy, which is the company's domain registrar.

According to Gigya, the breach of their GoDaddy account has already been fixed.

Patrick Salyer, the CEO of Gigya, assures its clients that the attack by SEA did not cause any user data to be compromised.

"To be absolutely clear: neither Gigya's platform itself nor any user, administrator or operational data has been compromised and was never at risk of being compromised," Salyer said.

The SEA has claimed that they are behind several high-profile hacking attacks that have occurred within recent years. Back in January, the group said that it was able to temporarily compromise the account on Twitter of U.S. President Barack Obama. The SEA has also claimed to have successfully hacked PayPal, eBay and CNN.

The hacking group supports Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. Between the years of 2011 and 2013, the SEA targeted organizations that it thought were hostile to Syria.

A few such hacks carried out by the SEA created a lot of impact. One such attack, which hacked the account of the Associated Press on Twitter, briefly convinced the world that there was a bombing at the White House.

Most of the SEA's recent attacks, including this one, however, pale in comparison compared to the potential damage that can be caused by other hacking groups.

"It is PR move to show they have the skills, but what they are doing is not dramatically sophisticated," said Kroll managing director of cybercrime Ernest Hilbert.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.