The popularity of Viber as a calling service also attracted some wrong attention, in 2013. Viber services were found to be defaced in an attack by the Syrian Electronic Army.
Pro-Syrian Government Group
The attack by the Syrian Electronic Army was led by a pro-government group of hackers. This group was sympathetic with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The hackers, according to official news from Viber were not able to penetrate deep into the service capabilities. Viber Media clarified that the hack could access only two non-major systems. These were the support panel as well as the support administration system.
Viber was quoted as saying that, the attack did not result in loss of any sensitive ‘user data.’ It reiterated that no database of Viber was hacked. However, the company has not confirmed if it was the political outfit-backed, Syrian Electronic Army hackers, who were responsible for the attack. This was despite the group claiming that it had been responsible for the attack.
Viber committed itself to stating that the hack was a result of a phishing attack. A particular employee was targeted for the attack, the statement noted.
The statement reiterated that the attack was an issue that related to an employee oversight and entanglement in an email phishing attack. The company provided details that no private user information was accessed, given the nature of the attack.
Viber immediately made several changes, following the incident. The incident had actually led to much furor among users. The attackers had left a message, after taking down Viber’s official support Page that Viber was used to spy and track users by the Israeli government.
The last sentence of the message, that the Viber system was designed for tracking as well as spying continues to be a reminder for many users, even years after the attack.
To these allegations by the Syrian outfit, Viber issued an official statement that Viber services were based out of London. The statement noted that it was a free messaging as well as calling service, which had development units located in Israel, with 200 million users at that point of time.