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Pro-Assad Supporters Hijack CBS on Twitter

The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for hacking three CBS Twitter feeds, and a San Diego radio station on Sunday. The compromised accounts were used to spread propaganda.

CBS confirmed that the Twitter feeds for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and a Denver affiliate (CBSDenver) were all compromised in order to spread propaganda supporting the Assad regime. The offending comments were deleted and control restored to the accounts within hours.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claimed responsibility for the messages posted, which included comments that President Obama was “shamelessly in bed with Al-Qaeda” and that the CIA was arming Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria. Other messages were more direct, including a warning that the “American people must stop their government, before the whole world is destroyed.”

Digital propaganda efforts such as these have been ongoing since the start of the recent problems in Syria, the most notable of which focused on false news being published on Reuters, reporting setbacks by the Free Syrian Army. Last month, a similar situation took place on the weather feed for the BBC, this too was claimed by the SEA.

Twitter restored the accounts shortly after the propaganda was published, and the messages were deleted. There was no explanation as to how the passwords on the accounts were compromised.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.