On Thursday, Federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment charging two Syrian men with offenses relating to their participation in a conspiracy to engage in computer hacking as members of the “Syrian Electronic Army” or “SEA.”
Ahmad ‘Umar Agha, who is known online as the “The Pro,” and Firas Dardar, who uses the nickname “The Shadow,” were indicted on conspiracy charges and multiple counts of aggravated identity theft.
Authorities have found both Syrian men in the involvement on spearphishing U.S. government, military, international organizations, and private-sector entities, including the Executive Office of the President, the U.S. Marine Corps, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Public Radio, the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, The Onion, USA Today, The New York Post, Time, Human Rights Watch, and scores of other entities and individuals, in the name of Syrian Electronic Army or SEA.
After victim falls into their phishing, Agha and Dardar allegedly used stolen credentials to deface websites, steal email, hijack social media accounts, and redirect domains to sites their conspiracy controlled or utilized.
The alleged offenses of conspiracy and conspiracy to commit wire fraud carry maximum prison terms of 5 and 20 years in prison, respectively, and the alleged aggravated identity theft charges carry a collective mandatory prison term of 2 years in prison and a maximum 18 years in prison.