The SEA hacked the main infrastructure system of Haifa, one of the most important ports in Israel, last month, disrupting the operation of the servers in charge of urban management systems and public utilities in the city.
A day later, the SEA said the hacking was done in retaliation for the recent Israeli strike on a research center in suburban Damascus.
FNA released the story, but to our much surprise Google's search engine blocked access to FNA report for over three days.
Yet, the western, including Israeli, media went to ask officials about the veracity of the report, in response to which some said they were uninformed, while others said there had been some minor hacking attacks which were repelled before they could cause any damage to the Israeli servers.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said, "We are not aware of any such attempt by Syria, but we do know that Haifa, as the north's symbol, is a strategic target for our enemies and therefore we keep training and preparing for emergencies."
"Haifa was and stays strong," he added.
Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, said, "They attacked two weeks ago the Haifa water system because they apparently spotted an opportunity, which failed."
In response, the SEA sent FNA a set of documents to prove that the hack has been successful.
"Since Fars News Agency was the first media to release a report on our successful hacking attack and to prove that the recent allegations made by the Zionist regime officials about the failure of our cyberattack are nothing but empty words, we send you some documents that we have extracted from the Haifa servers in the hacking attack," said a part of the letter sent by the SEA to FNA.
"Sure, this is just a sample of the information and documents that we have gained in the attack, and for clear reasons, we cannot let the public know more about the more sensitive information that we have extracted in the cyberattack," the SEA letter added.
To the opposite and on the right hand side of the page, you may find the images of a number of documents sent to us by the SEA.
In addition, Hackers usually leave a couple of files for their colleagues to prove that their allegations are true. When the SEA declared that it had had a successful security breach and hacking into the Haifa SCADA system in early May, it left the following files on its website to show others in the hacking industry that its cyberattack had resulted in success.
Cryptome mirror of the PDF and GIF:
When the SEA released a statement after hacking Haifa's SCADA systems in early May, it said, "We would like to announce that in response to the unfair and illegal attacks of Israel on DATE, the SEA has penetrated one of the main infrastructural systems (SCADA) in Haifa and managed to gain access to some sensitive data."
The statement which was also left for the Israeli operators of Haifa SCADA system, added that "the SEA is now able to cause irrecoverable damage to the Israelis' infrastructural systems."
The SEA warned that it could cause a major blast by continuing the attack on the servers of the Haifa infrastructural systems, but avoided further move due to inescapable human casualties as it did not want a story like the accident in Texas which claimed the lives of dozens of the people.
The statement asked Israelis "to do the best to express your objection to Israeli policies, since we do not like to see innocent people getting killed like in Texas, US, and this time in Haifa".
The SEA has recently gathered a name for itself in the hacking market by successful attacks on a wide range of the western media, most notably the hacking of AP Twitter accounts and sending of bogus messages which wreaked havoc on stock exchanges. The hackers tweeted that President Obama had been injured in a bomb attack at the White House, causing a temporary 143-point drop on the Dow Jones industrial average.
In an apparent effort to cause disruption and embarrassment in the West and to spread support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the SEA has so far hacked the Guardian, the BBC (including BBC weather, BBC Arabic Online and BBC Radio Ulster), France 24 TV, the National Public Radio in the United States, al-Jazeera, the government of Qatar, E!, and Sepp Blatter, the president of football's governing body Fifa, whose Twitter account was hacked.
Cybersecurity experts told the Guardian that the SEA attacks are designed to disrupt and embarrass the West and pro-Israeli lobbies, states and entities.
But this last cyberattack is certainly a boost in the platform of SEA operations as it required much more sophisticated knowledge and capabilities compared with the previous hackings; giving the Syrian Electronic Army the opportunity to rise to a different level of fame.
SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is a type of industrial control system (ICS). Industrial control systems are computer controlled systems that monitor and control industrial processes that exist in the physical world. SCADA systems historically distinguish themselves from other ICS systems by being large scale processes that can include multiple sites, and large distances. These processes include industrial, infrastructure, and facility-based processes.
Industrial processes include those of manufacturing, production, power generation, fabrication, and refining, and may run in continuous, batch, repetitive, or discrete modes.
Infrastructure processes may be public or private, and include water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, electrical power transmission and distribution, wind farms, civil defense siren systems, and large communication systems.
Facility processes occur both in public facilities and private ones, including buildings, airports, ships, and space stations. They monitor and control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), access, and energy consumption.