Syrian Electronic Army Hacks NPR

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Group continues its offensive on western news sources

America’s National Public Radio, better known as NPR, had its website defaced yesterday evening by a group said to support Syrian president Bashar Assad’s regime, which is currently embroiled in civil war.

The Syrian Electronic Army took credit for the hacks, leaving its name on a number of stories on the NPR website. Social media accounts belonging to NPR were also compromised.

Syrian uprising vector © Memi - FotoliaSyrian Electronic Army out in force

“Some of these stories were distributed to and appeared on NPR Member Station websites,” a statement from NPR read.

“We have made the necessary corrections to those stories on NPR.org and are continuing to work with our Member Stations.

“Similar statements were posted on several NPR Twitter accounts. Those Twitter accounts have been addressed. We are closely monitoring the situation.”

The Syrian Electronic Army has been actively targeting media organisations over the last year, claiming scalps as big as the BBC and Al-Jazeera. It was also connected to attacks on Reuters.

“We will not say why we attacked @NPR … They know the reason and that enough #SEA #Syria,” the group said over Twitter.

Another tweet read: “5 Twitter accounts for @NPR in addition to their official website was hacked by #SEA… We hope that NPR got our message #Syria.”

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