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Until this week's attacks, the SEA's efforts had largely focused on "phishing" social media accounts, tricking users into handing over log-in details.
In one particularly effective attack, the Twitter account of the Associated Press was compromised, and the group posted a tweet saying US President Barack Obama had been hurt in an explosion.
The New York Times attack was more damaging, however, as the hackers were able to redirect people trying to visit the newspaper to the SEA's website instead, albeit briefly.
"Our goal was to deliver our anti-war message on NY Times website - but our server couldn't last for three minutes," the group said.
In an email to Reuters on Wednesday, the SEA said if the U.S. military moves against Syria “our targets will be different.”
“Everything will be possible if the U.S. begins hostile military actions against Syria,” the group said in the note.
Thus far, the SEA’s most disruptive act was in April when it broke into the Twitter account of the Associated Press and sent fictional tweets about explosions at the White House. The false messages sent the stock market into a downward spiral that, for a short time, erased more than $100 billion in value.
U.S. intelligence officials have blamed hackers sponsored by Iran for a series of so-called distributed-denial-of-service attacks against many U.S. banking sites. In DDoS attacks, thousands of computers try to contact a target website at the same time, overwhelming it and rendering it inaccessible.
In three waves of attacks since last September, consumers have reported inability to conduct online transactions at more than a dozen banks, including Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp. Banks have spent millions of dollars to fend off the hackers and restore service.