Posts Tagged ‘Syrian Electronic Army’

“Stop spying on people!” — Syrian Electronic Army’s cyber-attacks compromising Skype’s Twitter, Facebook accounts

January 2, 2014

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Image from


Syrian computer hacker conglomerate, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), has kicked off the New Year with a number of cyber-attacks, compromising Skype’s Twitter, Facebook accounts, and its official blog.

Social media accounts belonging to Skype, Microsoft’s  voice-over-IP service, were hacked around 19:30 GMT. SEA posted  on Skype’s Twitter account a rogue message saying “Stop  spying on people! via Syrian Electronic Army.” The hacker  group also urged people not to use Microsoft accounts because the  company is “selling the data to the governments.”

SEA later re-tweeted the message using its own twitter page.


A similar message was posted on Skype’s Facebook page, but was  quickly deleted, according to TheNextWeb. The link to it, which  the SEA posted on its Twitter account, leads to a removed page.

Screenshot from facebook.comScreenshot from


Attacks were also generated on Skype’s official blog with posts  calling on the US to stop its global spying activity.

SEA continued to attack Microsoft via its twitter account  posting, “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your  accounts/emails using these details.”


Since SEA’s inception in 2011, the organization has denied any  association with the Syrian government. They claim to be  self-motivated patriotic supporters of the government, but are  not acting on its behalf.

In 2013, SEA claimed responsibility for hacking a number of  Western media outlets including the New York Times, The  Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Thomson Reuters.  Arguably, their biggest success was the penetration of the  Associated Press twitter account that posted President Barack  Obama had been injured in a White House attack.

Skype has now fully regained control and deleted the false tweets  from the compromised social media channels. Its blog is being  automatically redirected to Skype’s homepage.

“We recently became aware of a targeted cyber-attack that led  to access to Skype’s social media properties, but these  credentials were quickly reset. No user information was  compromised,” a Skype spokesman responded to TheNextWeb  query.

Skype also tweeted that no accounts of its other users had been  compromised.


The latest attacks by the SEA follow Edward Snowden’s revelations  of NSA eavesdrop outreach, including Microsoft.
In November Microsoft and its Skype division were cleared of data  protection violations relating to the NSA scandal by the  Luxembourg data protection regulator, CNPD.

The probe into Microsoft’s collaboration on data sharing with the  NSA found that the transfer of some data to affiliate companies  in the US appears “to take place lawfully” under a  so-called Safe Harbor agreement.


Last November,

The hacktivist pro-Assad group known as the “Syrian Electronic Army” (SEA) briefly hijacked the Twitter feeds of TIME magazine in response to a critical description of President Assad’s candidacy for its ‘Person of the year’ award.

The SEA has tweeted from TIME’s official account: “Syrian  Electronic Army was here via @Official_SEA16. Next time write a  better word about the Syrian president #SEA”.
That tweet was soon deleted.

The group referred to TIME’s list of people – politicians and  celebrities – selected as potential winners for “Person of the  Year,” the magazine’s annual award.

Syrian President Bashar Assad is one of the candidates, while the  magazine describes him as: “Syria’s ruler presided over a bloody  year, shrugging off international concerns over the use of  chemical weapons as the death toll of his country’s civil war  eclipsed 100,000.”

The voting closes on December, 4, with TIME’s Person of the Year  to be announced on December 11.

The SEA also claimed interfering with the vote on the US  magazine’s webpage.

Hacking: Syrian Electronic Army Steps Up To Punish Media Outlets it Says are Critical of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

August 14, 2013

You might want to change your Twitter password. On Tuesday, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked Twitter accounts belonging to SocialFlow and The New York Post, writes Brian Ries.

It seems no one’s safe from the Syrian Electronic Army. The online activists claimed credit on Tuesday for hacking the Facebook page of the New York Post and the Twitter feeds of some of the paper’s reporters. It also hacked into the Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog of SocialFlow, a social media optimization service used by scores of media outlets, including The Daily Beast, to manage their Twitter and Facebook pages.

The first hint that something was wrong came when SocialFlow’s own Twitter feed starting sounding funky. Its usual trickle of dry marketing-speak (“Are influencers actually that important to your social media strategy?”), suddenly changed tone at 3 p.m.

“Syrian Electronic Army Was Here,” read the tweet, which also mentioned a Twitter account belonging to the hackers, along with the hashtags #SEA and #SyrianElectronicArmy. A second tweet appeared shortly thereafter: “Fuck you @twitter,” it read, with a “:P” emoticon (that’s a guy sticking his tongue out, for all you non-emoticon users out there), and a picture of Twitter’s “fail whale.”

Moments later, similar tweets appeared on the Twitter accounts of the New York Post’s business section, the New York Mets beat reporter Mike Puma, the New York Post’s Brian Lewis, Page Six’s Richard Johnson, and the Washington Post’s sports columnist Jason Reid—all five of which appeared to be posted via HootSuite, a competitor to SocialFlow.

The New York Post’s Facebook page, too, was a victim of the hack, with the message, “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here” appearing on the page (which quickly got 4 “likes” and 7 “comments”). The Twitter account associated with the Syrian Electronic Army claimed this as one of theirs, too, posting a screenshot of the view from within the Post’s SocialFlow dashboard—indicating they had somehow a hold of that user-password data as well.


Twitter users, myself included, quickly spotlighted the rapid series of attacks—which were particularly frightening because of the scope of major media accounts that are managed by SocialFlow.

The company, reacting quickly to secure its clients’ accounts, pulled the plug. Its website was inaccessible for much of the hour after the first tweet.

But without initial communication from SocialFlow, which, admittedly, had its hands full, many in the media who use the service were left to wonder if more hacks were on the horizon.

“.@SocialFlow was hacked. Is your social client safe?!” wondered Mia Aquino, social media lead at This Is Fusion, a digital marketing company.

“Unhelpfully, @SocialFlow doesn’t mention a thing about user accounts currently being compromised,” added Circa’s Anthony De Rosa.

“Have asked for info and haven’t heard,” added The Guardian’s Katie Rogers.

When initially reached by The Daily Beast through its support services, the company apologized for the hack and said it was “working to bring all systems back online as quickly as possible.”

SocialFlow later issued a statement from its Twitter account explaining how it was compromised by the Syrian Electronic Army.

“Update: today an employee’s email account was compromised in a phishing attack. As a result, our Twitter and [Facebook] accounts were compromised. No customer access or data was compromised in this attack. As part of our security controls, we immediately took our service offline. We are following security protocols to restore service and are communicating with customers directly.”

Mike Puma, the New York Post Mets writer, after regaining control of his account also reacted to the hack. “Going to try and get the Syrian Electronic Army to write my story tonight so I can stay poolside,” he tweeted. “Changing my password.”

Jason Reid, the Post’s sports columnist, cleared things up too. “Got hacked,” he wrote. “Sorry.”

The group, which has hacked a variety of major Twitter accounts in the past ranging from the Associated Press to The Onion, has used the tactic to punish media outlets it says is critical of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In a New York Times interview following the AP hack, a hacker with the handle Th3 Pr0 said it was “because the Syrian Electronic Army believed the United States was ‘supporting the terrorist groups in Syria’.”

In an interview, SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson said he sees the attack as a “sign of the times that highlights the importance of everybody being vigilant about email security.” Anderson says being aware of hacking threats is “part of being on the Internet and a tech professional in 2013.”

Nearly two hours after the initial hack on Tuesday, the Twitter account associated with the hackers remained on the site, proudly tweeting a link to a tech site documenting its exploits.

Update: An earlier version of this story erroneously described the group as anti-Bashar al-Assad. They are in fact pro-Assad.

Pro-Syrian regime group hacks Sky News

February 8, 2013
Pro-Syria regime group hacks Sky News

A pro-Syrian regime cyber group has hacked the Twitter and Facebook accounts of Sky News Arabia, the Abu Dhabi-based Arabic news channel says.

The group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army – said to be close to the Syrian regime – hacked into the channel’s social network accounts, the broadcaster said.

The hacked accounts were two Twitter handles, skynewsarabia and skynewsarabia-c, and the channel’s Facebook page.

The news channel said it regained control of the hacked accounts and was ‘taking precautionary measures to ensure all its IT systems are secure’.

The cyber group boasted on its website that it had hacked pages belonging to Sky News Arabia and displayed its logo along with a picture of a channel’s page.

It carries out online hacking, it said, because the foreign media was biased against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and backed the rebels in the Syrian conflict.

Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between UK-based BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation.



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