April 22, 2013
Syrian Hackers Hijack CBS Twitter Accounts
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Yet another company with a large public presence saw their Twitter accounts hacked last week. Whereas other hackers have used company Twitter accounts to post homophobic or racist statements, these hackers made comments about the US and their involvement with Al-Qaeda.
The so-called Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed responsibility for these digital takeovers as the Twitter accounts for CBS´s “60 Minutes,” (@60Minutes) “48 Hours,” (@48Hours) and a local Denver affiliate (@CBSDenver) began Tweeting messages containing malware-infected links and statements critical of the US government. CBS quickly removed the Tweets and apologized for any inconvenience. The Syrian Army has also claimed responsibility for taking over Twitter accounts belonging to the BBC, NPR and Reuters.
Friday morning the SEA hackers took control of the CBS Twitter accounts and began Tweeting their antigovernment sentiments.
“Your entire family´s and ancestors victories will be wiped out forever if we lose,” read one of the Tweets posted to the @60Minutes account.
“The Syrian Army´s fight is your fight. The Syrian army fights for all humanity,” reads another Tweet which was immediately followed with “The American people must stop their government, before the whole world is destroyed.”
These messages were quickly removed by CBS, but according to the Associated Press, an earlier fake Tweet claimed the US government was “hiding the real culprit of the Boston bombing.”
All Things D managed to capture some screen shots before the offending Tweets were deleted, one of which read: “Exclusive: Terror is striking the #USA and #Obama is Shamelessly in Bed with Al-Qaeda.” This Tweet also contained a link which All Things D claims led users to a malware-infected site.
A Tweet from @CBSDenver which also contained a dirty link read: “WMD´s Provided by NATO to Al-Qaeda for a False Flag Operation in #Syria.”
CBS later acknowledged that they had been hacked, Tweeting: “PLEASE NOTE: A message that was posted earlier to this account was not written or sent by @60Minutes or its staff.”
The news organization later Tweeted: “We have experienced problems on Twitter accounts of #60Minutes & @48Hours; We apologize for the inconvenience; Twitter is resolving issues.”
Some NPR Twitter accounts, as well as NPR.org and their blog “The Two-Way” were also hacked by the SEA last week. This group is said to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to NPR, these attackers “defaced” headlines for NPR stories with the line “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here.” These attackers made similar statements on the hacked Twitter accounts. These attacks occurred late in the evening. Moments later the SEA posted a comment on their own Twitter account, saying: “We will not say why we attacked @NPR “¦ They know the reason and that is enough #SEA #Syria.”
The SEA later claimed they were able to hack into five @NPR accounts to spread their message. Another Tweet from the SEA account read “you can ask @deborahamos” for an explanation on why NPR was targeted. NPR reporter Deborah Amos has done extensive reporting on Syria.