According to a statement from Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai, a phishing e-mail disguised as a message from Galai was sent to all Outbrain employees on August 14, 2013. A link in the e-mail led to a Web page asking recipients to input their login information.
Following the successful phishing attack, the hackers were able to access the company's internal systems. They then used that access to add the phrase "Hacked by SEA" to CNN and other Web sites on August 15. The sites were restored within 40 minutes, according to Galai's statement.
Later that day, Galai wrote, "We have fully secured the network and resumed service."
In an online interview with the Daily Beast's Brian Ries, a member of the Syrian Electronic Army said the group's aim was to show the world "the truth about what is happening in Syria," contending, "There is no revolution in Syria, but terrorist groups killing people accusing Syrian Arab Army."