By Georgina Enzer Published September 27, 2011  C/NET

Harvard University in the US has had its website hacked, apparently by a sophisticated attack related to Syria, according to the BBC.

The hacked homepage showed a picture of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad standing in front of the Syrian flag and a slogan saying the “Syrian Electronic Army Were Here”.

According to the BBC, another message allegedly made threats against the US and criticised its opposition to the Assad government.

“Do you support the war on Syria? If you are you, as well as the following Syria’s population of 23 million people. This means 23 million mobile bomb. Imagine what we could do.”

Harvard said the hack appeared to be quite technically advanced.

“The university’s homepage was compromised by an outside party this morning. We took down the site for several hours in order to restore it. The attack appears to have been the work of a sophisticated individual or group,” a Harvard spokesman told the BBC.

Another message on the hacked site read: “This site has been breached to spread our message even if illegally”, and went on to accuse the US of supporting a ‘policy of killing in Syria’.

A Harvard spokesman told the BBC that there had been a growing number of such electronic attacks.

“Recent months have seen a rise in frequency and sophistication of these attacks, with hacking groups increasingly on the offensive and targeting news media, government and education websites,” said a Harvard spokesman.

“We are analysing this event and will use the findings to improve our security practices for an environment that is seeing escalating threats.”

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