Syrian Electronic Army Attacks CNN

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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The news network’s blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts were all hacked by the SEA

The prolific hacking group Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has attacked yet another major news organisation, with the US news network CNN becoming the latest victim.

The hack affected CNN’s main Facebook account, Twitter feed and some blogs, a few of which had content posted to them. All of the altered pages were deleted in minutes and the accounts secured, the network said. The posts included a tweet on CNN’s Twitter account stating: “Syrian Electronic Army was here…Stop lying…All your reports are fake”.

In a message published on its own Twitter account, the SEA confirmed the attack. “Tonight, the #SEA decided to retaliate against #CNN’s viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering in #Syria.”

On-line Piracy Key © bloomua - FotoliaLatest victim

The attack was apparently carried out in response to the network broadcasting reports on Syria containing what the SEA called ‘unverifiable information’. This apparently references a story CNN published earlier this week, detailing how a team of war crime prosecutors and forensics experts had found ‘direct evidence’ of ‘systematic torture and killing’ by the Assad regime. The story was based on a report commissioned by the government of Qatar.

A further tweet posted by the group on CNN’s Twitter profile placed the blame on the US President, reading, “Obama Bin Laden the lord of terror is brewing lies that the Syrian state controls Al Qaeda”.

“US Media strategy is now to hide the fact that the CIA controls and funds Al Qaeda by blaming Syria instead for their terror. The SEA will not stop to pursue these liars and will expose them and their methods for the world to see.”

The group was also able to publish content onto several pages of the network’s news site, most notably a fake story on CNN’s ‘Security Clearance’ blog with the headline, “US declares state of national emergency, State department reportedly out of reach”. Although aimed at causing widespread disruption and unease, the story was quickly identified as fake and removed.

The SEA is rapidly becoming one of the most successful and talked-about hacking groups in the world, having this week targeted Microsoft’s Office blog, where similar examples of pro-Syrian content were posted. This followed earlier hacks on Microsoft’s official blog and two Twitter accounts, as well as an attack by the group on the social media accounts of Microsoft-owned Skype, where messages accusing the company of spying and colluding with governments to share data on its customers were posted.

The group primarily focuses on attacking Western media outlets, with previous victims of the group including Reuters, the Washington Post, and Channel 4.

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