Who is the Dow Jones-wrecking Syrian Electronic Army? A hacker explains

A group of hackers called the Syrian Electronic Army brought the Dow Jones stock index down $140 billion in 90 seconds recently when it hacked the Twitter feed of the Associated Press. Ahmed Heidar tells As It Happens about the SEA and the cyberwar in Syria.

Syria-backed hackers attacking Western media

Last week, the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, hacked into the Twitter account of the Associated Press and sent out a tweet announcing that U.S. President Barack Obama had been injured in explosions at the White House.

The announcement caused one U.S. stock benchmark, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to lose $140 billion or one per cent of its value in a matter of 90 seconds.

Earlier this year, the Syrian Electronic Army took credit for attacking the Twitter accounts and web pages of several other Western news outlets, including The Guardian, the BBC and NPR.

But who are the Syrian Electronic Army?

Ahmad Heidar is a software engineer who fled Syria after the regime tried to recruit him into the SEA. He spoke to CBC's As It Happens about the group and the cyberwar taking place in Syria parallel to the fighting in the streets.