Syrian monitoring group's website offline after cyberattacks

Syrian Network for Human Rights website targeted in cyberattacks, putting it offline
2 min read
07 October, 2021
The Syrian Network for Human Rights website was brought offline after three days of cyberattacks.
'We will continue defending people’s rights,' the founder of SNHR said. [Getty]

A Syrian rights monitor has come under cyberattack by unknown actors, bringing its website offline on Thursday.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights is a UK-based monitoring organisation founded shortly after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011.

It regularly issues reports on human rights violations in Syria and has been frequently cited by the UN.

Its website was brought offline after three days of cyberattacks, infecting it with a virus that affects the site's security certificates, causing browsers to block access to it.

"Our initial estimate is that the attack is above [Syrian] regime or Iranian capabilities—I think the attack must have come from a government,” Fadel Abdul Ghany, the founder and chairman of the SNHR, told The New Arab.

He said that SNHR was gifted special servers from Microsoft and employs a number of measures to defend the digital security of the organisation.

"I think because we identify the perpetrators of violations themselves, they are attacking us," Ghany added.

The SNHR faced cyberattacks and death threats in the past for their work.

"We will continue defending our people's rights, threats won't work with us. We will never stop," Ghany said.

The Syrian civil war started in 2011 after the beginning of the Syrian revolution and has killed at least 350,000, though some put the death toll closer to half a million.

All parties to the conflict have committed egregious human rights violations, with most casualty tallies naming the Syrian regime as by far the worst offender.

The Syrian regime is believed to have disappeared tens of thousands of detainees.

The intensity of the war has slowed in recent years as battle lines have solidified around the country, however, civilians are still killed regularly by bombs in other forms of fighting.