Twitter plays cat-and-mouse with hackers of the Syrian Electronic Army

Filed Under: Featured, Twitter

Angry bird. Image from ShutterstockTwitter's security team appears to be playing whack-a-mole with a group of hackers who have made a name for themselves hijacking the accounts of high profile media organisations.

The Syrian Electronic Army has, in recent weeks, broken into the Twitter accounts belonging to NPR, the BBC, and others.

Most recently, the group has hacked accounts belonging to CBS and posted fraudulent messages to the @60Minutes and @CBSDenver accounts.

Tweets from hijacked 60 Minutes account

According to media reports, some of the tweets linked to malicious websites, so it's probably a good thing that Twitter has (temporarily at least) suspended the @60Minutes account.

Suspended Twitter account

But it's not just the victims' Twitter accounts that are being suspended. Twitter appears to have decided to put a stop to the Syrian Electronic Army's Twitter account as well.

Sure enough, @Official_SEA has now been suspended.

How did the Syrian Electronic Army respond to their Twitter suspension? Well, they created a new account called @SyrianCyberArmy.

And when that one was shut down, they created yet-another-Twitter-account - @SEA_Official3.

Guess what? Yep, that one has been shut down too. And - as certain as night follows day - the SEA responded by creating @Official_SEA5.

You can probably guess what happens next in this story. That's right, @Official_SEA5 was suspended by Twitter.

Not that that has stopped the hackers, of course.

Latest Syrian Electronic Army Twitter account

Currently, the Syrian Electronic Army are running a Twitter account at @Official_SEA6 - but you have to wonder how long before that one is also shut down by Twitter's security team.

UPDATE: Since this article was written, the official Twitter accounts of the FIFA World Cup and FIFA President Sepp Blatter have been hijacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Hackers tweet from FIFA accounts

And yes, the link that the hackers are pointing Twitter users to *is* this very article on Naked Security.

Image of Angry blue bird courtesy of Shutterstock.

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2 Responses to Twitter plays cat-and-mouse with hackers of the Syrian Electronic Army

  1. Mary-Ann Jensen · 462 days ago

    Stop illegal hacking. What is the definition of hacking? If intelligence is dealing with a case, is it/are they permitted to hack? Society is not built on doubt.

  2. d.kl · 456 days ago

    You are missing the obvious -- Syrian Electronic Army is US backed, controlled opposition designs to louden the drumbeats of war against Syria. SEA is just being setup to provide fake proof that Syrian is engaging in electronic warfare against the US.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.